For some of us it’s pretty uncomfortable. For me, it’s down-right painful. But to grow in life and to change, unpleasant situations are necessary.
I remember for Spring semester an assignment Professor had given the class that was met with profound and immeasurable moans and groans. We were to complete an extensive amount of writing in numerous genres in a relatively short amount of time. Many of the genres in which we were to write we had no experience with, so, the class was a bit overwhelmed to say the least.
The Professor said something I hope never to forget. He remarked, and I paraphrase, that in order to grow and learn we must step outside of our comfort zones, our homey little boxes in which we live and know intimately. We must attempt situations and goals of which we have no experience and pretend to DO what we wish to learn, so that we can eventually master the task through horrid trial and error. It’s how we grow. Something like that anyway.
What does this have to do with the price of tea in China?
I’ve never been good at new situations. I’ve never been good at going outside my comfort zone and making friends, exploring new places to visit or eat. I stay wrapped up in my safe bubble. But this weekend will be different. I’m competing in the Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta, GA on July 4th and have NO idea what to expect, except for unbearable heat and humidity. However, there are participants going out on a practice run Saturday and I’ve sheepishly decided to join them. I’m not worried about running the 6.2 miles. What I’m worried about is the drive downtown (I don’t like to leave my subdivision, much less trek through Atlanta traffic and fight for a parking space so I can breathe heavy with 200 other people) and the aforementioned 200 other people frighten me as well. Crowds scare me. Normally Husband would accompany me, drive me where I needed to go, be my familiar in an unknown world. He would be my safety net, my comfort zone. But because of his ECT treatments, I wouldn’t dare ask him to drive me downtown and wait an hour while I run with strangers. He’s not feeling up to it, and that would prove counterproductive to my growth and recovery.
So I’m putting my big girl Nike shorts on this weekend and driving my grown up self to Atlanta to do a practice run with 200 strangers. I don’t know what to expect, but I’m hoping to meet some people, share a few laughs, swap a few stories, and just have a good time. I am attempting to grow and learn by taking on new challenges; working out my proverbial muscles so they will get stronger, so to speak. We’ll see how it goes. Keep your fingers crossed for me!
And as for the assignment Professor gave the class, it was an uncomfortable journey, but I got an A, and hopefully it has helped me to become a better writer.