Posted by: mesabimisadventures | May 14, 2011

Pushing Past Comfortable

Two days before my last blog posting, I celebrated my 33rd birthday by beginning the first of my graduate courses in Public Relations.  Two days after my last blog posting, my boss informed me that he was taking a new job within our company and that his position would be opening up.  A few months later, I have wrapped up that course, my sixth week in my new job and my first attempt at running a 5K.  It’s been a little bit of a blur…

Years ago, at the beginning of every school year (or semester when I went to college), I would crack open the textbook, scan through it and think, “I’m toast.  There’s no way I’ll ever learn all of this.”  I loved school and I loved learning, but I remained convinced that someday I would hit a wall and that’d be it.  Year after year, the semesters would move along and concepts that had once seemed daunting gradually became familiar and I would wonder why I had been so intimidated.

Some personality traits aren’t erasable and when the new possibility for my career opened up, I found myself looking at it the same way I once looked at my Biochemistry textbooks.  I had hit a comfortable point in my career after ten years and the thought of venturing into a whole new realm was a little scary at first.  There would be new regulations to learn, people to work with, levels of responsibility to shoulder.  Could I?  Should I? 

Back in November, a group of us at work decided to begin our own “Biggest Loser” contest (seems a little odd in hindsight considering that none of us really had more than 10-15 pounds to lose).  We mostly wanted to trim up a little and give ourselves the motivation to at least not gain any weight over the long winter months.  We didn’t realize at the time just how long the winter of 2010/2011 would turn out to be!  The weight loss challenge forced me to face the fact that I had become complacent about my fitness level.  As with my career, I had hit a comfortable point with my body.  My first few attempts at snowshoeing with friends were humbling, as were my later attempts to run around the one-mile “loop” I live on.  It would have been easy to stop and let my body remain at the stable weight it had settled on, a weight that required no effort to maintain.  I owed myself more than “settling” and in April, I won the contest.

I decided I was tired of being comfortable, at work and at home.  Although I have a long way to go to get the body I once had, I’m a few steps closer.  Although I have a long way to go before I’m comfortable again at work, I have already learned so much and recognized new areas to improve upon.  There are moments where I feel defeated – when I wasn’t able to run the entire 5K, when I have to call a coworker back because I have to find out the answer instead of being able to automatically pull it out of the file folders in my brain.  Those are moments when my self-esteem takes a beating.  Those are moments when all I see is how far I have to still go, instead of seeing how far I’ve come.

Comfortable can be a warm, wonderful feeling, but if you’re going to grow as a person, you have to be willing to make it a temporary friend.

Push through the tears, the frustration, the voices in your head that say, “you’re just fine where you’re at.” 

Push past comfortable.

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