Comfort zones can be a tricky thing. We all think that we are gaining strength, confidence and independence until we have to move out of our comfort zone and are forced to make a home in a new zone. It’s then we realize we were the hero in our old comfort zone and now a lost puppy in our new zone. Comfort zones can be anything in our lives. Our home, the neighborhood we live in, the routine we do every day, the job we have, the romantic relationship we’re in, the car we drive or even the stores we shop at. When even the smallest comfort zone is suddenly needing to change, and we have to walk away from it as if it’s nothing to us, it can be numbing. We ask ourselves, do we really love the comfort zone, or do we just not handle change well?
I, for one, can not handle change well. Once I get into that bubble, I put up a tent and camp out with no date or time of leaving. Sometimes it works in my favor. Like when I try to convince how amazing my comfort zone is, and it ends up being something pretty magical to someone else who would have never given it a second look. Then there are the other moments when it back fires…which is more often than I would like. Being married to a military man, the possibility of change seems to always be a reality. Especially when it comes to him traveling for work. I handle him traveling worse than anything. I sometimes think to myself, I got this. Then I am immediately reminded that I don’t have any part of it at all. When it comes to having the ability to accept the change, I feel like a weak, pathetic, weirdo. Like, “My husband is leaving for 1 week, how the heck am I going to function with out him? Oh my husband is going away for a couple nights, I wonder if my sister, KC will spend the night both nights.” It’s not as easy for me as it is for other woman. Other military wives seem to have a hard night the first night their man is away on their trip and then they get into their routine and then they are fine. For me? Yea no, I am a mess until about the 2nd to the last day of his trip. “My husband is home in 2 days and I finally have the hang of it.” Seriously, I look at myself sometimes and wonder how my husband is still married to a mess like myself.
So how do we get out of our comfort zones? How do we know the difference between just being comfy in our comfort zone to actually being reliant on it? When the situations fall in our laps, forcing us to move out of our comfort zones and get cozy in a new one, it’s the perfect time to just rip off the band-aide. Ripping off the band-aide is the best way for us to wake up and realize that maybe it isn’t that bad or as hard as we feared. Maybe we can do it and it may hurt in the beginning, but the pain goes away and the wound you’ve been covering up, aka not allowing yourself to move zones, begins to heal and before you know it, that zone is healed and gone and you’re embracing the new zone with open arms. Scars of our past may still show, and our mind sets of what we need and want in life may change. The things in life that we thought were unbearable, become a new breath of fresh air.
Start with one thing at a time. If it’s a new house, bring in the memories of the old house, but change the dining room table, then a new couch. New paint colors or different scented candles. If it’s your loved one traveling and being away from home for a while, enjoy that cup of coffee you two have every morning, but then try something new like walk around the neighborhood, brunch with a good friend, play dates for your kids or reading a good book. If it’s a new job, bring your favorite lunch every day, expect one day a week. Try a restaurant nearby, lunch with a co-worker or try the cafeteria. If it’s a new city, go to places that are also in your old city, but then also try and go to the landmarks that makes your new city have history, experience new parks, new malls and new “mom and pop” restaurants that the locals love to go to. There are many things about experiencing new experiences in life that can be scary but refreshing at the same time. You can easily wonder how you ever went with out the new friends, restaurants or stores you have found. Take that deep breath and remember you were brave enough to rip the band-aide off. Now go out and experience the new parts of life that have been waiting for you to enjoy.
And hey! If all else fails and doubt kicks in, there are always reviews on basically everything. Read them before you go anywhere and begin ripping off that band-aide.