comfort is a slow death

We have a banner hung up at Havas Chicago that declares “comfort is a slow death.” I’ve always nodded in agreement with it as I walk by, but I didn’t even realize how increasingly comfortable I’d gotten in Chicago until I arrived in Paris.

One of the features of the BETC map: a map indicating your current location. You can also book meetings, order lunch, and find the phone number for a colleague.

BETC is a massive fortress — intimidating but absolutely exciting. I spent my first day there getting lost between the east and west sides of the building until I got their app working on my phone, at which point I could see a small bouncing GPS-version of myself smiling in a 3D-rendered BETC. Later I gawked over their library and ordered a local organic lunch off their daily changing menu on that same app.

Last night, I felt really off… a strange sort of prickliness; an unease deep in my stomach. I realized I haven’t allowed myself to be thrown in the deep end in a long time. Sure, I’ve had moments of sink or swim when I’m about to present in front of hundreds of people or pitch for new business, but this feels different. I’m in a place I’ve never been where I can barely mutter “je ne parle francais,” no one knows who I am or what I do, and I have no one to vouch for me or bail me out. As I write this, I’m surrounded by brilliant French people who work on brands like Lacoste, Louis Vuitton, Air France, and Evian. [insert panic attack here]

BETC employees walking into work on a foggy morning

But this feels like the best way to get out of my comfortable rut. Yesterday I was briefed on a car brand for a TV assignment (lol TV…) and later today I’m getting briefed on a few more projects. I blasted Beyoncé into my brain on my train ride this morning. It’s sink or swim for the rest or the month. Time to remember how to fucking swim.

Oh, stars in her eyes
She fights and she sweats those sleepless nights
But she don’t mind, she loves the grind
She grinds from Monday to Friday
Works from Friday to Sunday