Tuesday, February 22, 2011


      What is unfamiliar overwhelms and confuses me, but it shrinks to fit. When faced with a new environment, or a new job, or a new living stuation, the challenges feel insurmountable. How will I ever learn to negotiate this strange territory? How can I assimilate these changes into my already overfull life? Whether it is a new city, or a new habit, the discomfort feels like it will last forever. But it doesn't. I adapt and adjust and the new readily becomes familiar and no big deal.
     Sometimes, merely considering the discomfort of possible changes is enough to prevent me taking the first step. Fear of the unknown paralyzes me utterly if I let it: fear, and doubt. If I believe that I am alone on this life journey, then whatever is before me is daunting, and I might choose to stay where I feel safe, even if I'm miserable; but if I trust that I am not alone, that I will meet who I need to meet along the way, and that I can ask for help and directions as I travel, there is comfort in that, and hope. 
     Every time I stretch outside of my comfort zone I wallow a bit initially finding my footing, figuring out the lay of the land. It takes time and effort to explore and wander, to discover what's accessible, who the players are, who's friendly and helpful and who is not; how limits can be set and boundaries established. This is true whether the change is geographic or internal. If I decide to lose weight, the same rules apply. I flounder unknowingly and flop about trying this or that, and then settle into a rhythm and find my way.
     Perhaps life does not shrink to fit me after all. Perhaps it is me growing to include more life.

I am willing to try something new today. I am willing to travel outside of my comfort zone.