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This sculpture speaks to me, it shows the stages of imprisonment that I unconsciously lived in by being hemmed into my comfort zone, then hopefully that I am in the process of breaking free from. I don’t know if I have reached this last stage, but I think I am on the verge.

As I have come to believe that you can only grow and find out more about yourself and develop whatever traits you would like, only when you push yourself out of your comfort zone, therefore I have been doing my best to do that. Of course if I finally find out that all this was a hoax by someone with a warped sense of humor, whose main goal is to make as many people as uncomfortable as possible, I shall be really angry. But until that is proven to be the case, I am giving it a try.
So what’s my comfort zone? It is where I feel comfortable, where I am relaxed, where I enjoy myself and feel familiar surroundings. So how do I get out of my comfort zone?
My first hurdle was Holy Week. I could have easily curled up in a fetal position and spent it at home, shutting off my phones, stuffing myself with comfort food and drowning myself in escapist literature. But I didn’t. I pushed myself, very deliberately, to go stay at the apartment – that alone was very difficult – and participate in each and every one of the celebrations prepared for me by my cousins. There were ups and there were downs, but I finally got through it and came back home to my fond furry friends. Relief! Back home, to my cocoon, my warm, familiar comfort zone. But not for long. Just a few days then off I go again to my brother’s seaside home for a longish weekend, where I will attend a wedding, meet a lot of people for the first time, and stay in a house where I had stayed with my Mom. True I shall be with family, but all the outside surroundings are not familiar. I don’t even know what is planned for me. So again going out blind, out of my comfort zone. So I had better grow after all that!
My final plan for breaking out of my comfort zone is to take what is dubbed as a Writer’s Cruise from Luxor to Aswan for four days with a group of people whom I never met before, except for two whom I had met briefly. We will all be living on a boat, probably having sightseeing tours together, our meals together, our classes together and evening entertainment together. Strangely enough, I am really looking forward to that. I am a peoples’ person, look forward to meeting new people, new experiences, new information and practically new sightseeing as I had not been to Luxor and Aswan since I was in school. Still, it is all new to me, totally out of my comfort zone.
After all this discomfort, I had better grow.
Let me see, did I grow after my Holy Week discomfort at the apartment? Well, yes. I had to spend one day all alone at the apartment. I could have called some friends or cousins and spent it with them, but I needed to test myself and see if I could tolerate my own company for a full day with only myself for entertainment. By the end of the day I was still ok. I did not feel like killing me, nor was I sick of my own thoughts or company. So did I grow? Well, yes. I did get to learn something new about me, and this really is progress, or growth if that is what it is being called. So maybe there is something to this out of the comfort zone talk. I still have a couple of more uncomfortable zones to go to and see what benefits I shall come out with. The Holy Week was a bit rough, despite my enjoyment of my cousins’ company and the kindness of most of them, so maybe it was the suffering and the difficulties that affect the growth. Maybe that is the meaning behind the idea of being out of your comfort zone, you discover more about yourself, the world around you, how it affects you and how you react to certain circumstances. By doing so you tap into your own depths, explore your feelings, discover your own hang ups, learn more about human nature through your own, your strengths and weaknesses.
I shall try to live every moment and see how it will finally affect me. Exciting new journey about to begin.


27 April 2014