Sunday, June 19, 2011


I know I usually use these Sunday Scribblings posts as an opportunity to get some fiction writing done. But with my new situation and my change of scenery, I thought it appropriate to just use the prompt to go with some real life stuff.

Change is hard for me. I'd be willing to bet that if a lot of us were honest with ourselves, it's hard for most of us. We get comfortable and start to like our situations, no matter how good or bad they may be. In some cases, that comfort zone can be a good thing, if it's a healthy kind of comfort zone. But in others, the comfort zone can be a very dangerous place.

For me, the comfort zone for the last few years has been a place where I've managed to stagnate. Nearly four years ago, I was certain I was expanding my horizons by moving away from my hometown to work on my masters degree in seminary. I reconnected with old friends. I got into a part-time job. And I lived my life. Day in and day out.

Eventually I discovered that seminary was not the place for me. The part-time job became a full-time job. Like it or not, this was where I was. And I lived my life. Day in and day out.

But I wasn't really living my life. I was working. And I was working some more. I was struggling to make ends meet and I wasn't making time for myself. I wasn't putting myself out there. I wasn't meeting people and making new friends. I confined myself to a circle of friends that included myself and roughly two or three other people. This is where I got comfortable. Day in and day out.

I never stretched myself. I never left my comfort zone. I never put myself out there to become vulnerable. I never let people see the real me. And by doing so, I missed a lot of opportunities.

In the last few weeks, I became attracted to this girl. But because I was afraid of rejection, or maybe even afraid of the possibility of happiness, I didn't act. I'm sure my inaction caused me to miss a lot of opportunities where she was concerned. There's a big part of me that hopes, despite my new location, that story isn't over. If it is, I have no one to blame but myself.

I'm back in my hometown. It's a place I haven't lived in four years. And even though it's all very familiar, I can't help but be terrified.

I've been back here for five hours and I'm already missing my comfort zone. I miss my apartment. I miss my limited circle of friends in Raleigh. I miss my co-workers. And yeah, I miss Spider-Girl.

But this is what I needed, right? This new job is going to stretch me. Being back in my hometown is going to stretch me. Being in a new apartment with two roommates that I don't know is definitely going to stretch me.

I can start my new job tomorrow still feeling afraid, or I can view it as an incredible opportunity. It's an opportunity to learn. It's an opportunity to grow. It's an opportunity to meet new people and make new friends. It's an opportunity to have a better life than my comfort zone has limited me to for the past four years.

I loved and hated my life in Raleigh. I loved it because I had grown comfortable. I loved it because I genuinely did enjoy a lot of aspects of that life. I loved the friends that I actually had. I loved the coworkers that became like another quirky family for me. But I hated not having time to enjoy it more. I hated having to work two jobs to make ends meet. I hated being tired all the time and not being able to make time to do the things I loved more.

Now I'm here. Now I have more opportunities to do the things that I'll love to do. I'll have more time for myself. I'll have more time to read. I'll have more time to write.

So it's time for me to choose. Do I go through my next days and weeks feeling afraid? Or do I embrace the opportunities that are going to come along as I continue to live my life? Day in and day out.

This prompt came from Sunday Scribblings. Go check out what others had to say.


  1. An excellent and thought provoking post, Aaaron. I too find it very easy to stay boxed inside my comfort zone, and to avoid fearful situations... sometimes a great consequence. Your post served as a reminder that sometimes we need to take the risk, to stretch ourselves, and to embrace new opportunities no matter how scary that may be. I need to remember that!

  2. Change is hard - no two ways about it. I hope your new situation stretches you in many good ways Aaron. Best luck with the new job in the old town. What a very honest post. Cheers.

  3. attitude wins.
    love your take.