Aaah, the old Comfort Zone. I love it for obvious reasons (it’s comfortable), but I also have come to absolutely despise it over the past few weeks as I spent a ton of time reflecting on my life during the Lenten season. As much as I hate to admit it, my Comfort Zone has me wrapped around its finger, and I’ve never realized just how bad the situation was until just now, when I forced myself to look it in the eye.
Last week, I found myself in my new advisor’s office planning my schedule for next year (physics 1, calc 2, cell and molec, genetics, and bio seminar). Next year, that is, my senior year. AKA my LAST YEAR AT FONTBONNE. Cue “quarter of my life” crisis. No, this time my crisis is not so much about what I want to do with my life in the sense of “Oh, what do I want to be when I grow up?” (because I’m pretty sure I have an idea about that, though I don’t want to share it because it will be different tomorrow). Rather, this crisis is about all of the smaller things I want to do with my life but haven’t done because doing so would be out of my Comfort Zone. So instead of stepping into the unknown, I’ve taken the easy way out during my time in college: staying in my room to study something I’ve studied for five hours that day already, going home every weekend to study it some more instead of using that time to explore all of the places in St. Louis I’ve wanted to explore but never quite had the nerve to go check out for fear of somehow making a fool of myself (Not sure how I would make a fool of myself doing this, but I suppose that’s just the irrationality of my fears speaking.).
So. I kept telling myself, “Grad school! Then I will move out West like I dream of doing, and I’ll be that super awesome, super fit, outdoorsy person who runs marathons and triathlons and doesn’t wimp out of a three miler because it’s too cold or too windy or the cicadas are out! I will be that person who isn’t afraid to go out and spontaneously try new and adventurous things!” Blah, blah, blah.
But you know what? I’m pretty sure that’s what I said in high school (Okay, I didn’t like to run back then, but that’s beside the point). NO. I’m not waiting for Grad school anymore. Grad school may never come: I could get hit by a car while running on the one day I don’t wimp out of a workout. And anyhow, I have a suspicion that once I’m in Grad school, the situation won’t be all that different. I’ll be saying things like, “Oh, tomorrow I’ll start living the life I’ve imagined.” So you know what I’ve decided? The time is NOW. It’s time to let go of my Comfort Zone and do what I want to do already, because frankly, this is getting ridiculous.
You know how they say that you should sign up for a big race then post it everywhere (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to hold yourself accountable? Well, I’m about to do it here. Yesterday, as I was at my hometown’s community center for my bike workout (another Zone I must bust out of), I saw a flier for a sprint triathlon on May 18th. Last spring break my dad bought me an expensive road bike which has been sitting patiently in my dorm, waiting for this moment: the moment when I decided to shed my Comfort Zone and take it out for a real training ride in Forest Park, unafraid of looking like a total newbie putt-putting around on her bike.
I have officially decided that I’m going to do it. I’m going to train and make myself into a real triathlete, starting this week.
With all of this being said, I dare you to stop me next time you see me and say, “Oh hey Carly, how’s the triathlon training coming along? Did you brick today? Please, fill me in on your workout.” Do it! Hold me accountable! Make me uncomfortable!
(Maybe I’ll get lucky and you’ll look for a girl with straight-across bangs. If that’s the case, good luck finding me.)
I haven’t added any grand, dramatic quotes to my more recent blogs. So that means I’m overdue for a quote here. Well, as the tire-cover-thingy of this jeep in front of me so elegantly said I was driving back from yet another weekend at home:
“One life. Live it.”
Enjoy your winter break, everyone! Go do something outrageous.
“New Year” by Beach House