Outside My Comfort Zone

A friend shared this quote with me: “It is paradoxical but true that something that takes you out of yourself also restores you to yourself with a greater freedom.” – This quote comes from Frances May in her book titled, Every Day in Tuscany.

I SO stepped out of my comfort zone by doing my trip to New York. Not only did I step into neighborhoods where my safety was questionable, but I also opened my life up to public inspection and criticism with my blog posts. Those who know me personally know how fiercely private I am – that was a tough one for me.

I’m a lazy person when it comes to exercise. I hate gyms, classes, and regimens. When I set my goal to walk every square mile of New York, one of my closest friends just chuckled. “YOU walk? Right!” But I went public with this very uncomfortable goal, knowing I’d have to follow through if people were watching.

Stepping outside what’s familiar and safe opened up a brand new world for me. I struck up conversations with people I would have never met had I not been lonely. I sheepishly walked into classes of 20- and 30-somethings but walked out armed with a whole new set of skills. And the more I pushed myself to walk, the more I realized that my creative juices flowed more freely.

christmas at homeBut to be honest, the most uncomfortable move is coming in less than sixty days. I will sell the home where I had my three babies, where we celebrated Christmas for 24 years, where I’m surrounded by neighbors I can call at any time. I am leaving a great big comfort zone behind, not sure where I am headed next.


In preparing for my move, I’ve allowed a few exciting thoughts to seep in. Maybe I’ll get to build the home I have in my head. Maybe I’ll be financially freer and can travel more often. Maybe I can shed some of the baggage and responsibilities I’ve accumulated the decades I’ve been here.

Yep, comfort zones are warm and safe. But I’ve come to realize that they can also choke the life out of you . . . a life that might – just might – restore “you to yourself with a greater freedom.”

Keep your fingers crossed.

No Comments
  • June Corley
    Posted at 15:58h, 01 August

    I can relate. Selling and moving out of my 100 year old house in Inman Park, after living and working in it for 19 years, was by far the scariest thing I’ve ever done. Moving to a cabin in the woods of Alabama was the next. But only a month later I couldn’t remember why I was so frightened of change! It may not have been as exhilarating as my early trip to Italy or your recent trip to NYC, but the paring down of “things” along with getting rid of other kinds of baggage was so freeing! One of the results of the release from my Atlanta comfort zone was my starting to make the type sculptures, never would have created them without the move. All that said, I’m now starting to feel too comfortable again…. and am feeling restless.
    Anyway, go bravely forth…. you have amazing adventures ahead…. and I look forward to being as inspired by them just as much as I was by your NY trip!

  • Janis Miller
    Posted at 20:37h, 10 August

    So, JKW has keep me informed, so I knew you were selling your house. Are you going to keep blogging? I certainly hope so. You still have a lot to say and you can be our “spiritual” guru as you travel on the new paths you’ll be taking. You have my vote. XXOO

  • lisaweldon
    Posted at 23:31h, 10 August

    Have tried to write since I’ve been home but I’m in the throws of selling the house, packing up the kids for college, finding a new place to live, and all the other stuff that goes along with life. When things settle down at the end of this week, I’ll start back. You’re right, I have a lot more I want to share about this crazy journey… just need some of that wonderful quiet time I had in New York.

  • Jane Kelley
    Posted at 01:38h, 16 August

    You may think you’re leaving your Great Big Comfort Zone when you move, but it’s just a house. Your friends, family and memories move with you… wherever you go! We will travel as far as necessary. To your closest friends, you ARE family! BFFs are forever. They help carry you when you’re too tired to walk, and hold your hand when you’re too tired to talk.

  • lisaweldon
    Posted at 01:48h, 13 November

    So, June, it’s been slightly over a month. You were so right. I can’t imagine why I was so afraid to move. I love my new place!