I find myself waking up each day in a luscious bed, with my down comforter swallowing me up, the air conditioner pumping, small beagle curled up beside me, sunshine pouring through my windows and the hushed sounds of locals on the streets below carrying up to my room. I’ve finally saved up for that sweet coffee pot I always wanted, the one with the timer; I’ve always got piping hot Folgers ready for me when I shuffle to my little, lovely kitchen in the mornings. I dress from my carefully gathered collection of vintage finds and Target steals. After a healthy breakfast, I walk a few blocks to a lab to work on media projects, I attend lectures on subjects that rev me up; I work and interact with brilliant academics and fellow students during my days. In the evenings, I walk my sweet pup and snap photos while the sun sets. I nap if I need it. I meet with friends for happy hours, plan friend dinners, read at coffee shops, chat with my parents, write, work, live, giggle, love, and play in the evenings.
I do it all over again the next day.
I no longer worry about how I’m going to pay bills, what I’m going to eat for dinner, how to tell my parents this or that, or how I’m going to manage to get through another day.
I’m comfortable. I’ve built a great life; one that I’ve wanted for years. Yet somehow, lately, even in the midst of a lot of very visible joy, the restlessness has set in. I’ve got an itch for more. Bigger. Better. Bolder. I’ve got the basics down, and now I’m ready for the real fun to begin.
There are risks and costs to action.
But they are far less than the long range risks of comfortable inaction.
-John F. Kennedy
Injecting Zest Into The Comfortable Life I’m Living
In some ways it’s simple. I can walk a different way to work and class. Try a new recipe once a week. Call my mom at a different time during the day. Order a different salad for lunch. Sit at another computer when I work in the lab. Dig to the bottom of the basket for a nail polish color that I haven’t worn in a while. Tweak the small, routine behavior that can cultivate boredom, you know?
In another sense, it all calls for something bigger…
Making Myself Uncomfortable
It goes hand in hand with what I explored last week. The ole “seize the day” stuff. Because I’ve built a strong platform for success and exploration. The little things are no longer my obstacle. The time is now for the bigger, better, bolder.
First, it calls for identifying more specifically what I’m yearning for. A creative outlet, physical exertion, new experiences, significant accomplishments, something to write home about! All things that will pluck me from my comfort zone and will require that I challenge myself mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually, from every angle. All the things I’ve been talking about doing and learning and trying that will fit into the definition of the woman I want to be. Things that will push me towards the bigger goals. It’s been great being able to roll around in comfort, do not get me wrong, but that’s not all I want. That’s not what I’ve been after all this time. As for the action that will turn my comfortable routine into comfortable routine plus exciting newness?
Attend my first class at The Craft Studio and take classes at my local gym (yoga, zumba, body pump!), register for that half marathon for charity, apply for five kick-ass internships, launch my new blog (eep!), begin planning and saving for an exciting trip, switch up my look (you’ll see!), pick up a guitar and a violin again, volunteer for an organization that means something to me, implement an eating plan, learn five new skills (sewing? watercolor? a language? a magic trick? water skiing? this one will be fun…).
That’s a nice start for now. Running. Creating. Growing professionally. Writing, sharing. Exploring. Scaring myself a little. Doing things that don’t come as naturally to me. Pushing boundaries and giving myself a chance to excel. Does that sound zesty?
Avoiding Messing Up What Works
A significant part of my Stratejoy journey has been about deeply exploring what does work for me. And moving from the cleaning up the mess stage to the building basic comfort stage to now, the challenge and explore more stage, doesn’t have to mean throwing out my progress and starting over. No, it’s a building process. I’ll add to what I’ve learned, push, explore, and investigate myself and my potential, all while being careful to honor the significant improvements that I’ve made. All while remembering what I require and what I’ve learned about me. Honoring the basics while slowly adding in more, without overextending myself.
It all does worry me to an extent, to be honest. The questions stir: “Why is something always missing?”, “Will I ever just let myself be happy?” and “When I get to where I want to go, will it be enough?” It all opens up the possibility for failure, but don’t we know by now that the fear of failure is the biggest joy deterrent? So, answers come: Adventure is missing. Excitement is missing. Challenge is missing. Yes, I do let myself sit in happiness. I’m not lost on all I’ve accomplished and how much has changed for the better. That does make me happy. Happier than I’ve ever been. And, I’ll never get to where I’m “going.” I won’t find a destination and stop. I’ll always keep moving; it’s my nature. I understand that pushing myself to look for more brings me joy. That doesn’t make me someone who is incapable of being content, just someone that knows there is way too much goodness out there to sit still for too long. Should we just let ourselves sit in comfortable? Or should we invite ourselves to open up to more possibility for joy? Can’t we keep what’s comfortable, and when we’re ready, add in a little bit of discomfort, break the routine until that too becomes comfortable, starting the process again. Isn’t that what growth is?
It’s going to be Bigger. Bolder. Better. This summer will be so huge and I can’t wait to finally share excitement with you all! Stay tuned…