As my family will attest, I sometimes balk at trying new things.
I tend to order the same food at restaurants, buy the same style of clothes, listen to the same music…well you get the idea. If it isn’t broken, why fix it -right?
I’m learning that for me, it’s actually the opposite. Something is broken, and I do need to fix it. Not wanting to leave the confines of my ‘comfort zone’ is a sign of being an emotional hostage to my fears.
But, it’s something I’ve been actively working on -trying something new. As luck would have it, I’ve had two opportunities to practice recently.
My daughter offered to take me clothes shopping last weekend. Shopping and toilet scrubbing rate about the same for me. Thus, my wardrobe tends to, shall we say ‘lean on the dated side of fashion’. I have been in need of an update for quite a while, but it hasn’t been a priority. Translation: my fears have been winning. I fear feeling selfish or conspicuous in new clothes. That might lead to ridicule or rejection. And, it certainly doesn’t help that I most definitely do not like the dressing room mirror.
Luckily, my daughter has good taste and is patiently persistent. She was encouraging, yet firm, in nudging me out of my box. It was just what I needed. I repeatedly tried something new that day. Some things were immediate rejects, but to my surprise, we found several ‘keepers,’ too. I’m happy to report I’ve been enjoying the fruits of our labor.
For the last three years, I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo. It’s a writing marathon where you write a novel of 50,000 words the 30 days of November. I’ve written three books, though they all sit awaiting my editing. (That’s the boring part.) As November approached this year, I couldn’t decide what to do. Part of me wanted to continue the tradition, but I felt weary and lacked any ideas. The same old thing didn’t appeal to me, and I felt stuck.
Then it occurred to me – I can try something new! I decided to write a collection of short stories. By writing up an outline of ideas ahead of time, it ignited my writing enthusiasm again, too! So I’m off and running with my non-fiction short stories. I’m feeling like a bit of a NaNo rebel; and that puts some pep in my step, too!
How about you? What new things are you trying? What do you think of your comfort zone?