Friday, February 8, 2013

In the Comfort Zone?

This past month has been something else.  My father's death, school applications, home-school classes and I am trying to find a balance in the midst of so much.  I do not live near where my parents and brother live so this horrible change in our lives means a section of my life, along with much of theirs, has to be renegotiated.  And, this leads to somewhat of a ripple effect that touches everything else.  So again, this past month has been "something else".

Writing a new post has been on my mind constantly, but how to stay focused on what I was making progress with, with the changes?  How to be true to what I know works while making room for what has to be new?  That model works with so much in life, doesn't it?

I moved from my parent's home years ago, and have often lived in situations that are outside of my original comfort zone.  I will always remember the day my mother dropped me off at college.  I wanted to go, I had worked toward that specific place even though it wasn't clear I had all the skills and experience to be a success, and there was a moment when I was ON MY OWN.  Yes, I had to stretch, often to the point of breaking.  Yes, I made so many mistakes.  Yes, I often came close to failing.  But, I succeeded.    And, I wouldn't be the person I am now if I had not taken the chance of living outside of my comfort zone.

And yet, finding those things that are familiar also gave me a huge sense of connection.  Kindness, sincere interest, and those typing and waitress skills all became very important.  I have traveled to places like Krakow, Berlin, Kaunas and Sydney and found kindness and sincere interest.  I have met a President, a couple of Cardinals, movie stars and homeless people and those same things ring true.

So, as I continue to work on this game to assist students in answering questions like "is college the right choice?" and "will I have experiences and skills that can apply?" I have to go back to the things I know have worked.  Yes, being true to who you are is where you start.  That may not always be pretty but it is key self-knowledge.  And, it can be a jumping off place for new things or a solid place to never move from.  The choice is the step that sets the course because there is room for both directions.

Sometimes I fantasize that my ancestors arrived from some far away place, stepped off the boat and started walking until they found a comfortable spot which they never wanted to leave.  I live in a place that is a destination for many people's dreams and aspirations.  Both places can lead to never wanting to move, physically or emotionally.  So, is it okay to find a place of comfort and keep it that way, or do we keep pressing on?

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