I used to be a very comfortable person. I used to be so comfortable that I would refuse to try something new simply because it might not lead to something positive. A small example would be never wanting to try a different restaurant or new coffee shop. Why should I travel all across the city just to try new food that I might not even like? Or even coffee that I might not even like? A bigger example would be never wanting to explore outside of my circle of friends, knowledge or experience. Why should I go look for new friends when I already have some? Why should I read more on a topic when I already know it? Why should I go out into the world, into the unknown, when I am comfortable where I am in life? Right?
Last weekend I made it a point to hang out with one of my close friends who I haven’t seen in 2 weeks due to preparing for the GMATs. It was raining that Friday and was telling him that I would be late, most likely being stuck in traffic. So, I drove the 40 or so miles down south, in the rain, and in traffic. I didn’t mind it though, because I just made a new playlist on my mp3 player and was rocking out to Fall Out Boy (their old music). Originally, I had suggested going to two breweries in the area and have some beer. Then he texts me and suggests to go to another place where his other friends were getting drinks, if I wanted to. So I said sure, why not. I ended up driving a little farther than I expected but I didn’t mind. Finally got to the place and met his other friends. I had tons of fun as I got to meet new people and engage in tipsy conversation with them. After about an hour of conversing, shooting hoops and drinking, we all decided to leave. Then instead of going home, we went to meet up with more of his friends at some random bar in the middle of no where (to me it was in the middle of no where lol) but as we got there they were leaving, however, I still got to meet new people. Ended up going to this ramen place for food (I had sake, he had ramen) and then finally met up with other people at this bar for someone’s birthday. Had a great time, good beer, played table shuffleboard and made new friends.
(Yes this story is going somewhere just bear with me)
Then, on Saturday, the next day, we were supposed to go see Avengers 2. As I was heading down again, he suggested to postpone Avengers and come out to another bar to meet new people for his friends actual birthday (same dude as Friday). So, ended up going all around San Diego to kill time and finally went to the bar. Got beers, met new people, had some pretty interesting conversations and got some good ‘advice’ from a married couple (which I may or may not have understood because I was pretty buzzed by then). Then the bday boy decided to go to a dueling piano bar and everyone ended up going (though we had reservations at first considering it was in downtown San Diego and it was already late). Went there, enjoyed live music, left, walked my new girl as friend to her car where she drove me to my car and went home.
So, what does all this have to do with being comfortable? If you knew me 3 years ago, or even last year, you would not associate any of these things with me. Like I said, I used to be comfortable. I used to not like doing anything new. But I now realize that being comfortable means you are not really living your life.
For instance, ‘3 years ago me’ would respond to the above situations like this:
Driving in the rain? Nope, it’s too dangerous PLUS traffic is worse when it rains.
Driving in afternoon traffic, especially on a Friday? Nope, not worth it, I’d rather stay home.
Meet new people? God, too much work.
Go to different places? I might not even like it.
Explore different parts of San Diego? No, too far, waste of gas.
Change of plans? Why? What’s wrong with the original plan?
And the list of excuses went on and on. And on…
If I didn’t choose to live outside my comfort zone last week, then I would not have met such awesome people and made an awesome new friend in the process. See, life isn’t about sticking with what you know (most of the time). It’s about growth, it’s about learning, it’s about exploring and it’s about potential. Every time I find myself stuck thinking long about doing something (within reason), the answer is usually, ‘Fuck it, just do it‘. Honestly, it hasn’t failed me so far. In fact, it has helped me expand my comfort zone. I mean, a homeless dude walked up to my window that Friday night and yelled at me, for no reason whatsoever, “Your’re the one whose going to fucking jail!” and then walked away. What the hell, right? (I don’t know I think my comfort zone shrunk a little after that…). I guess it was a fun one sided experience interacting with a random homeless guy. Anyway, in the process of saying ‘fuck it, just do it‘, you learn a lot about yourself and what you are capable of. I found out I was actually more friendly than I previously thought and that I get along with a lot of people who I thought I would never get along with. It’s better to know what you can and can’t do as opposed to assuming what you can and can’t do (after all, to assume is to make an ass out of u and me). Of course it’s scary living outside your comfort zone, but most of the time it’s well worth the risk. Right now, I am taking a big risk on forgoing a dead-end job and instead studying for the GMATs to apply for grad school to land a better career. It’s not something I wanted to do initially do because of the great risk involved (mostly the what if’s), but fuck it, I will never know unless I do it. If it all works out (which I’m sure it will) I will be doing something I have interest in that also pays incredibly well. Win-win.
The more we think, the less we live. The more we sit there contemplating the ‘what if’s’, the more moments pass us by. The more we sit there thinking about the possible outcomes, the chance to experience the only outcome has already come and gone. Like I said, if you ever find yourself thinking way too long about doing something, just say ‘fuck it‘ and do it.
-Don’t know if you should go out on a Friday night?
Fuck it, wear your party dress/polo shirt and just go out.
-Can’t decide between spinach or broccoli?
Fuck it, BOTH (you’ll get 2x the vitamins!).
-Don’t know if you should swim in the shallow end or the deep end?
Fuck it, deep end it is (but what if you don’t know how to swim? Well, you gon learn today).
-Don’t know if you should text a girl/guy you are interested in? Fuck it, just do it, tell them they are amazing and ask them out.
-Don’t know if you should have another shot because you might throw up?
Yeah no, don’t, no one wants to babysit you…
With all jokes aside, you know what I mean. It could be the best decision of your life, or it could be the worst, but at least you are living your life and not the life that could have been.
So, when was the last time you did something for the first time?