It’s a Monday. You’re exhausted. You spend the day wishing you could be productive, get out and do something, or in my case, simply work on a paper that’s due in a little over 24 hours. However, all you can think about, right here, right now, are that couch, TV, and fuzzy socks that await you once 6 pm rolls around; all of your other ambitions disappear because you can only focus on how comfy you can’t wait to feel.
But have you ever gotten home, changed into sweats, grabbed your microwave pizza, and settled into that plushy couch, only to realize you left your drink upstairs? It’s unnerving, it’s upsetting, and it’s downright unfair to make me move once I have gotten situated and comfortable. However, I am stubborn and I love to have a Diet Coke with that lean cuisine pizza, so I force myself to stand up after a long day and rush in irritation to grab it before the show starts.
We might find this example a little extreme to apply to living your actual life, but I find it to be relevant when talking about the desire to be comfortable.
I’ve said it more than once and I’ll say it again, but the real world is hard. Wise and groundbreaking news, no? As a 23 year old, transitioning from being surrounded by friends with little to no work related issues to a full-force teaching job while also taking classes, I experienced a rude awakening. I was expected to wear nice clothes each day, be professional, and worse, responsible for other people’s education and lives. Who decided this was a good idea?!
Exhausted by a combination of these factors, while also struggling with moderate depression, I felt my world was collapsing. All I wanted was to be at home with my parents and my dog, binge-watching Netflix or back in college with my best friends. Ultimately I wanted to crawl into a shell and never come out.
I became a changed person; I no longer wanted to travel and I only wanted to quit school so I could find a job at Barnes & Noble, meet my future husband and have a jillion kids in Kansas, where we would stay forever.
None of these things are wrong or shameful, but if you knew me before this transition, you would be shocked. I have always wanted to travel the world; I have had an enormous obsession with Europe and the UK after seeing the movie “What a Girl Wants” in the 4th grade. I had ambitions to pursue a PhD or become an editor for a publishing company; most of all, I wanted to get the heck out of Kansas.
But while I will continue to emphasize that the state of Kansas is a wonderful place, and living there forever sounds like a beautiful dream, I know myself and I know that it is not actually for me. I have always had a desire to push myself and prove to the world that I could do anything, because I was Olivia and she waits for no man!
So what’s the point of this rant, Olivia? The point is, friends, that in the face of a scary and unknown future looming above my head, I got stage fright and abandoned everything I ever wished for. I wanted to stay in the same place forever and hope that all would work out; I could forever sit on the couch, eat my pizza, and somehow remember the Diet Coke without ever having to budge an inch. But who would I become? Who would we become if we stayed in the same place, the same position, the same day for the rest of our lives? We would not grow.
Growing is painful; it requires us to stretch and sometimes it is our nature to avoid being flexible. But life is more than living from one TV episode to the next; we all know that it is too short for that.
Living a comfortable lifestyle suggests that we aren’t challenged. If we aren’t challenged, we will never change for the better.
So whether your dream is traveling the world, becoming a really good cook, or completing a 1,000 piece puzzle, I suggest that you write your goals down. Put them in a place where you’ll see them every morning and every night, and maybe during the afternoon when you’re in desperate need of a nap. Life is fleeting, so pursue your goals, make new friends, or get the heck out of town.
Let’s get uncomfortable.