You are reading a blog by the world’s worst Leaver of the Comfort Zone. I am Queen of the Comfort Zone and I rule all that is comfortable and safe…for me. Anything outside of my Comfort Zone is simply evil and must never be allowed in.
What is a Comfort Zone? Well to clarify, it’s simply a mental boundary we each set for ourselves. It’s a place where we feel safe and secure. It’s habit, it’s rut. It’s sticking with relationships or circumstances that, while they may have lost purpose or real meaning (or so we’re told they have), we find comfort in them. It’s that place where if we don’t leave it, people tell us we’ll never realize our full potential or make great things happen. This may be true. I don’t know. I’ve not ventured out of mine long enough to find out. Hell, just starting this blog and throwing myself out there for the world to see is enough stepping out to last me quite a while. I mean, what you read is what you get when you know me. I don’t hold back here and allowing my personal self to connect with the world is a giant leap out of my Comfort Zone, to be sure.
I’m writing this particular blog because after yesterday’s rant over FJ and The Speech I began to think, really think about why I stay in this relationship. I do love him. That isn’t in question. But lots of other things are and it hit me…I stay because I’m comfortable with him. There is something in my brain that tells me I’m just too old to start over in a new relationship. I’m not THAT old. No reason to start digging a grave yet. But I’m oldER and the idea of starting over with a new man, a new life seems quite taxing. When I was younger that idea used to excite me and I had no qualms about throwing Dating Lisa out there and just going for it. Now? Eh. I don’t want to have to “relearn” another man’s habits or quirks or speeches. I don’t want to have to reteach mine either. I can be difficult and bitchy and I’ve got some odd habits, a hard pill to swallow if you will, and the fact that I’ve a man in my life who didn’t run screaming is a big plus for me. FJ and I fight something fierce sometimes but in the end we always work it out. Always. We’re good with compromise. Once things settle we’re good at talking things out. We’re honest with each other. I value the hell out of honesty as I spent 11 years married to a man who could not tell the truth if his life depended on it. Seriously…he could NOT do it. His head may have wanted to but once his mouth opened, out spewed the most colorful and inventive stories I’ve ever heard. So, I’ll give him credit for that…he wasn’t Uncle Remus but he could spin an intriguing tale like nobody’s business. ANYWAY, as I was saying…FJ and I are comfortable with each other. With that comfort comes happiness and safety, which I’ve not had in many years so why would I want to screw that up?
My job…I love my job. Both of them actually, but I do not strive to be a director or CIO or any of those high-powered titled people. Why? Because I’m comfortable with what I’m doing. I’m comfortable with how my jobs fit into the life I have now. I like the flexibility. There could always be more money (I’m not going to stick in my current Poor Comfort Zone if I don’t have to – I’m not stupid or if I am stupid I’d rather be stupid on a nice vacation) but overall, I feel safe and secure with my work. Why would I want to screw this up by stepping outside of my Zone?
I keep asking “why would I want to screw this up?” because I’m not so sure that stepping out of our Zones is absolutely necessary to achieving happiness or realizing our full potential (I can say that because I’m happy and tucked away in my Zone right now). But, those big giant leaps out of our Zones to bring on the major anxiety and discomfort? Not necessary. Life hands us opportunities to have to step outside our Zone almost every single day. Does it not? We get up each morning, we begin our routine, things go smoothly then BAM! There is some unexpected Universe Out to Get Us Snafu that we have to cope with – outside our Zone. So we deal with them and then continue on in our Zone. Is it not more about our attitude and how we handle these snafus than it is about taking steps to disrupt or change what we’re already comfortable with?
The truth is, and this may sound arrogant on my part although I don’t mean for it to be that way, I know my full potential and I know what I am capable of. I can be or do anything I want (although a job as a contortionist circus freak is out – my body can’t bend that way anymore). I know this about myself. I’m confident enough to know if I set my mind to something I can do it. Just because I don’t choose to go out and conquer the world doesn’t make me less of a person. I’m happy where I am…I’m a Mom, a writer, a consultant for a major university, a part of management at Ghost Walk, a friend, a girlfriend, a daughter, a sister…I’m all of these things and more, and I’m perfectly okay with it. None of this has lost meaning or purpose and none of this is in danger of doing so. If we’re truly happy, why bring on upheaval and discomfort…ON PURPOSE? I just see no reason for it.
Now lately, I’ve been going through this THING where I’ve felt the need to get out more and ” party.” I seldom go out just for fun anymore, just to do things for me. So it’s been bugging me a lot lately. Last night, I marinated on that, as well and it hit me that I’d convinced myself I needed to “fit in” with others who seem to be constantly out and busy. But the truth here I don’t really want that whole party thing and I’m busy enough. What I do want and need is to just start doing things for myself that have value and will add value to my already Comfy Zone. I need to be spending more quality time with my daughter, seeing my Daddy more, reading more (bookaholic here), writing more, taking myself out to breakfast every now and then before work for some alone time, drawing (I SUCK at it but nonetheless I find it relaxing). It’s these kinds of things I’m missing and need to be doing, not the whole partying and hanging out with a bunch of people. Uh…that was SO 20 years ago! So, let’s face it…I’m going against the grain here, bucking every psychiatrist theory that stepping out of the Zone is necessary and I’ll just add to my already existing Happy Place. God, I’m such a rebel!
Personal Opinion: It’s okay to stay within your Comfort Zone. It really is. Expect those Universal Snafus I mentioned earlier and remain calm when they happen. Use those as a way to better yourself and let them be learning experiences for yourself. Don’t feel you must leave your Zone to change things just because someone else tells you to. If you’re happy then just BE HAPPY. Isn’t this world tough enough already without making it harder on ourselves? I think it is! So to all of you who are happy in your Comfort Zone and see no reason to rock the boat…KUDOS! This blog is dedicated to all of you who are comfortable being comfortable!