I woke up in my basement room, which I rent from my best friend’s parents, dressed in an outfit I had picked out the night before, brushed my teeth and left for work.
I listened to an audio book while I sat in traffic. I answered emails while the pot of coffee I made was brewing. I sipped my coffee with two hands around the mug and a slight smile on the corners of my lips. I greeted each person who came in from the cold with a “good morning” over my shoulder, and they returned it with the same. We all worked in silence while we let the coffee do it’s magic.
The day was busy, a good busy that keeps your eyes away from the clock so when you do finally look at it you are pleasantly surprised.
Towards the end of the day, we all sat with our chairs turned in toward the aisle, toward each other, and talked about nonsensical things, conversations you can’t quite remember how or why they began in the first place. This tends to happen toward the end of the day, or in the case of Fridays, multiple times throughout the day. Today we talked about sayings. You know, like, “one in the hand is worth two in the bush” and, “if wishes were horses, beggars would ride” and, “changing horses midstream”. Which lead to: “I thought it went another way!” “My dad says like this…” “Oh, is that how it goes? I’ve definitely been saying it wrong my entire life.” Which lead to laughing. A lot of laughing, at each other and ourselves.
I left work feeling accomplished and happy, which is unusual.
I went to the gym, said hello to the cute guy behind the desk who is always there to smile at me, said hello to the nice lady who cleans the women’s locker room. I ran on the treadmill for 30 minutes and went through my usual lifting routine, people watching the entire time.
I drove home in the dark. Taylor Swift’s Blank Spaces came on the radio and I sang almost every word correctly.
I was greeted at home by the dogs and by my roommates, who had graciously left me leftovers from their dinner. We talked as I ate, we watched a movie, we talked during the movie.
I got ready for bed, burrowed into my fluffy duvet and found the place I’d left off in my book the night before. After reading a few chapters and turning off my light, I realized I’d had a lovely day, an absolutely normal and lovely day.
And that is when the contentment started creeping in. Why am I leaving all of this again? Why am I just dropping everything and flying to another continent to be alone and without a plan or job or purpose or friends or silly co-workers or parents and family who are only a single timezone away?
Would it really be so bad to stay here and do this every day for a while? I mean, I feel pretty happy right now, don’t I? Why isn’t this enough? Shouldn’t this be enough?
And that is when I realized: comfort and contentment are the enemies of growth and greatness.
These are the words that came out of my heart this evening, and I know them to be true.
I was comfortable and content in my relationship, ready to settle down and spend the rest of my life by his side, near our parents, working jobs we hated, but that made us money, having children and living vicariously through them.
I am starting to feel comfortable here. Now that the pain of losing him isn’t present in each and every waking moment, I have been able to actually live in everyday moments, enjoying them rather than wanting to flee from the memories and pain they hold.
In comfort and contentment, what motivation does one have to change? None. Why would you change yourself or your circumstances if you are happy exactly where and as you are?
I strive for an eventual state of comfort and contentment, but I know that it is not my time just yet.
I know I must not let the four sides of this conventional box keep me chained. I know my soul is from elsewhere, and I must find that place. I know I was meant to break out of this comfort. I know I was destined to push myself beyond my limits and the limits given to me by others’ expectations. I can feel it deep within myself and I know I would not be happy if I let fear hold me back, if I let contentment stifle this possible greatness.
And so I keep pushing. I keep pushing myself to question what is required of me as a woman. I keep pushing myself to grasp what I was meant to do with my life. I keep pushing the boundaries of what is expected and acceptable from me in the eyes of society. I keep pushing myself to do things that scare me. Because, if I’m not scared, I’m not challenging myself.
What are you afraid to do? What scares the crap out of you? And why aren’t you doing it?