My Comfort Zone

Welcome to my comfort zone. It’s so cozy and safe here, all the things I’m used to seeing and having around me. My comfort zone doesn’t require a lot from me. It understands me in a way nothing else does. It’s known me since forever and that is such a comforting thought.
My family and friends are here, all the familiar faces I’m used to and places I have already seen, experiences I have already lived through, thoughts I’ve had many times over. Have I already said how comfortable it feels?

Oh yes, I have.

I never have feelings of anxiety or worry as long as I stay in my comfy zone–strange thing, that is.

But as comfy as all that sounds, after awhile it gets to be a bit boring and going through life forever bored seems like such a waste. As one of the characters in Good Mothers Don’t said, “too much worry can kill you, but a little worry at least lets you know you’re alive.” I do believe this is true. Sometime we need some worry in our lives as we begin to look outside that comfort zone of ours. I have a friend who has often reminded me in the past that staying in my comfort zone does not allow me to expand and grow as a human being. She is right of course, not matter how well-fitting that comfort zone of mine has been, there comes times when I need to step outside.

When I first began writing, I imagined a life of solitude as I filled empty pages with prose. Of course, for many years I wrote in private and no one but a few family members knew what I was doing behind closed doors. Slowly, that “secret” began to expand and close friends were let in on it. And then the first book was published, pushing me into unfamiliar territory. While book signings and public appearances are all part of an author’s life, it drew attention to me and my work and I’ll be honest, putting my work out there for the whole world to see was scary, especially the first time. Some people will like what you’ve written and some people won’t. People you know will either support you and your work, or else they’ll ignore you altogether. It’s just the way it is. Everyone is not going to care that you’re an author, nor should they. I’m still me. Some published books hasn’t change that.

What I didn’t know back at the very beginning when I first started writing was that there would be many many times when I’d be called upon the step outside my comfy comfort zone. All I ever wanted to do was write and see my words in print. I knew that would make me happy. I’ll admit that there have been times when I’ve not been able to take those steps and I’ve missed out on opportunities because of it and I’ve been disappointed in myself.

But each new day brings new opportunities to grow and learn. With that said, I have also taken those steps outside my comfort zone and it has been scary and things haven’t necessarily turned out the way I’d hoped, but that’s okay. It wasn’t the end of the world. Nothing terribly drastic has happened because of it and I eventually accepted the consequences of my disappointment. Life has to be that way sometimes. We learn much more though our missteps than when everything goes along smoothly. We are always harder on ourselves that we would ever dream of being on others, but we eventually learn to get over our missteps. We are all human and make mistakes.

I expect that in time to come I’ll become braver and more willing to leave the comforts I’ve come to know in pursuit of new experiences. These experiences might be good, they might be bad, but I’ll take the good with the bad. It’s all any of us can do.

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9 Comments

  1. Sirje Ruus

     /  August 17, 2020

    Lovely post, Laura. Such a wonderful thing to have a comfort zone like yours — but, as you say, there is always the dichotomy between boredom and excitement. I think that most creative people find a great deal of this excitement within and thus don’t need too much of the other kind. Even those writers who travel about the world are probably the ones sitting quietly in the corner to observe and consider. Would also like to thank you for your support at my signing yesterday. You and Brian made a beautiful picture standing side by side with the dock and water behind you, looking in the bookstore door. I have it in my mind — unfortunately not on my cell phone. Happy birthday to Brian and may your retirement bring you much peace and joy. xo Syr

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  2. Well said. Every time I step outside my comfort zone, it has been hard, but it has always been worth it. xo

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  3. “We are always harder on ourselves that we would ever dream of being on others.” – YES! We are. I’ve learned to be less harsher and laugh at my mistakes and missteps more. Rather laugh than cry has become my philosophy.

    I’ve also heard that we don’t grow within our comfort zone. Now when I step out of it, I realise I do grow, and it makes me want to do it more. However, I always have my comfort zone to slip back into when I want it. My zone looks similar to yours: nature.

    I’d say you’ve grown a lot since your first book, and you’ve inspired others. I think I mentioned before that I started my first blog because of you. You’re also the first blogger I followed. Look what you’ve accomplished in that time frame.

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    • It nice o know when we have inspired others along our journey. I know you have also inspired many and have helped other writers long their own journey. Growth is a part of life as uncomfortable as it may sometimes be. Thanks for dropping by Diane. I haven’t seen you on social media for awhile. Figured you were taking a bit of a break. 🙂

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      • It’s been a wonderful summer break, filled with inspiration. I’ve reduced my social media down to blogging, so you won’t see me elsewhere. Thanks for all you do.

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  4. Comfort zones, we all have one. I think having a comfort zone is important. While I’ve taken risks for most of my adult life, having that place to retreat to is a respite of sorts. It’s one of those places where I can keep the outside world there – outside.

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