“Step out of your comfort zone.”
Totally sarcastic air quotes. Hate this phrase.
I don’t know how to tell stories anymore, so I’ll just list everything as it happened.
I woke up in the morning after a dream of having bought a bass guitar that the lady at the cash register bent completely out of shape when she put it in the bag, so I went and googled “What does it mean when you dream of obtaining something you’ve always wanted but feel completely dissatisfied?”
Instead of an answer, because I suck at using Google, I got this article about how to pursue your passion, and I was like there we go; this is fate. The first point was what to do when you don’t know what your passion is. And I was very excited because heck yes that is me. Talk to me, oh, all-knowing anonymous internet user: what’s your secret?
And I kinda got that deflated feeling you get when you make it home and pick up your homework and are so excited about the events to follow that you almost expect it to do itself as a sign of respect for you and your mood, but then you realise you have to do math for anything to even happen.
The Google article said:
“Step out of your comfort zone.”
I initially felt stupid for getting angry, because of course that’s what it is. Everybody has to and you’re just being pathetic. But then I dug into it some more and I understood that it’s not quite true. It’s not what they said; it’s just how the whole world thinks it works.
I kinda feel like, in the same way “When a woman is on her period …” is not inclusive of trans and nonbinary people with the misfortune of owning a vagina, “Step out of your comfort zone, you lazy piece of shit” tends to forget that there are literally people out there who can’t.
I’m not even gonna get into privilege checks and how some people don’t have the money to actually go for it. Like if you want to make jewelry by carving landscapes into pearls (totally a thing), even considering getting started is probably gonna cost more than some people have. Plus, others can’t, physically, get out of bed, let alone their comfort zone. I don’t know enough about that to keep going, but you should keep it in mind next time. I’m gonna talk about something I know about instead.
When you tell me to step out of my comfort zone, that implies that I have one.
It sounds like you think I wake up in the morning and say to myself, “Ahh, I love lying around in bed, but it’s time to go fix myself a cup of tea and eat my favourite food and watch ‘Stranger Things’ on Netflix.”
Or maybe you think it’s more like “Well, I didn’t sleep that well, but it’s fine, because I’m at home, where I call the shots, and once I leave I will be surrounded by people that I know and that I am comfortable interacting with, doing familiar activities that only moderately stress me out over long periods of time, which is in itself comforting, because it’s familiar.”
Wrong and wrong.
I wake up in the morning and I can’t feel comfortable because I feel guilty. Whatever I do and wherever I go, I feel like I’m writhing inside of my skin and can’t seem to break out. Wherever I am, I feel as if I should be somewhere else. Whatever I do feels like it could have been done differently, better, always.
I do not have a comfort zone. I am always aching to run somewhere else, but the last destination is never somewhere I belonged, so why return? But if I don’t return, where do I go?
When you have a comfort zone, you have a guideline.
What should I do? Step out.
How? Well, normally, I would feel more comfortable not e-mailing Marvel to ask what kinda formal education I need to work with them in the creative department, but that’s what I need to do to start so I will.
Or even less specific, I would normally feel more comfortable not going to the party, but maybe I’ll meet someone interesting.
Notice the pattern? It’s the opposite of something you feel comfortable doing. I don’t have that. If I talk to you, I’ll feel like you hate me. If I don’t talk to you, I’ll fear you think I hate you. If I avoid my dad, I’m afraid he’ll get angry. If I confront my dad, I’m afraid he’ll get angry.
There is no winning this game for me.
I’m drowning and you’re saying “Well, just get off the boat.”
So maybe think twice before you wanna write an article like that and pretend it’s aimed at everybody. It’s not, and it hasn’t made me any better, that I know for sure.
But maybe it was fate, and the whole point was not to get inspired to change my life, but to call people out on this.