The squeaky door at the end of your comfort zone.
There is always that movie scene where an old wooden door with rusted metal slowly opens. Suspense music intensifies. A big reveal occurs.
Sometimes, this reveal brings scary things. Sometimes it unveils beautiful surprises. Sometimes it goes nowhere. Truth is, most of the time we tend to accurately guess what’s gonna happen next during this movie scene, and whether we get it right or wrong, it’s somewhat a relief when it finally does happen. Suspense is not for everyone, for sure.
I recently had to open a squeaky door myself. A door at the end of my comfort zone. I decided to steer and stabilize my career path, by taking a decision that has rendered me on a temporary –but well deserved– break. While I’m perfectly equipped for professional opportunities ahead, I’m emotionally outnumbered, and perhaps not so-fit to deal with change (My passwords-as-reminders trick won’t always help, heh). However, writing –among other artsy outlets– allows me to put in words what I can’t draw with my pencil.
Dear reader, follow me. Let’s put ourselves into the shoes of a main character in an imaginary movie scene, and do a quick mental trip together. Place yourself into this situation, and imagine along.
Alongside a dark wall, you walk up to a beautiful simple door. Scribbles of dates, names, and other messages that someone has written to distract you are decorating the door and the frame. This door is right at the end of your comfort zone.
You attempt to open this door.
Alternate Scene A — The door is stuck, you can’t open it.
No matter what, the door won’t budge. “Easy, this is locked.” — You think. Surely, you attempt to find a key, but there is nothing in the comfort zone other than things that keep you safe and confined. No key on sight. No matter how much you look, it’s nowhere to be found.
You try to force the handle repeatedly, but your strength disappears. The comfort zone is like a massive, large room with acoustics that echo and amplify the sounds of your frustration and wasted effort. You don’t wanna hear yourself struggling. You give up, and walk in another direction. Somewhere else in the comfort zone.
Alternate Scene B— The door opens but it leads to the wrong place.
You open the door and walk out but suddenly you realize there’s nothing more daunting than being in the wrong place at the wrong time. You look right behind you and there it is – The comfort zone is a well-lit room with soft walls, with signage and way-finding decals all over the place. You come back quickly into a room and close the door. Welcome back! You can’t tell if you’re in the right place at the right time, but you can definitely tell you’re steady and stable.
Alternate Scene C — The door opens.
A warm blinding light hits you and showers the room. Everything shines. You walk through the door frame, marveled, and a bit blind. You wonder if it’s the end. “Is this a tunnel of light? Will Morgan Freeman show up?”
You’re walking onto something great but without any feedback of whether is the right way or not. You can’t tell because it’s just bright, empty space. Exploration is a must. This is an empty canvas where there’s no guidance, signage or way-finding.
Let’s go back to our reality.
What did just happen?
What was that?
This is, my friends, the room of hope. The room of entrepreneurship. The room of job-hunting. The room of retirement. The room of grieving. This is a different room for everyone, ever-changing but always welcoming. It is the right place to be, although perhaps not always at the right time.
A beautiful empty space, with nothing other than a gorgeous tiny wooden box near the door frame behind you, hosting a small silver key with a handwritten note attached to it:
“Please lock the door behind you.”
You lock the door, saying one last good bye to the comfort zone you just left. You turn around and start walking ahead into this newly found space. This beautiful, infinitely vast white room.
You walk, then stride, then run. Sooner or later, you know you’re gonna bump into someone else, doing exactly the same.
Once you find someone in this new room, you’ll know you’re one of many.
One of many that have experienced life transformation, whether is because of work, family, relationships, health, adventure, or circumstance. One of many that perhaps needs to hear your story, or read your letters, or listen to your songs. One of many that needs a hand, or that can offer it.
Whatever the case may be, I salute you, wanderer of the bright room, for you’re one that has just locked the wooden door of the comfort zone, and has decided to move ahead. To move forward.
I salute you, fellow wanderer.
Now, dear reader, pick your scene. Go, and live your own movie! Whatever the genre may be!
I’ll do the same.