Living Outside the Zone

I’ve never hidden the fact that I’m a homebody.  My dream day is spent entirely at home, surrounded by my family.  I hate driving, hate having to make conversation with strangers, hate fighting crowds . . .  If I wake up in the morning and check the calendar and it’s blank, I’m incredibly happy.

If I hadn't left my home, could I have done THIS?

My grandmother called me a stick-in-the-mud when I was 13.  She got me.

So what was I doing at Coachella last weekend?  And why was I having such a good time there?  I was far away from home, pushing my way through the biggest crowds I’ve ever seen, on totally unfamiliar terrain–and I’ve never been happier.

It’s possible I need to leave my comfort zone more often.

I know that when the moment comes–when I’m supposed to leave my house to go somewhere (especially without my entire family–I’m happy to go anywhere with the whole family, because then I’m a turtle, carrying my home on my back), I’m going to balk.  I always do.  Whether it’s a cocktail party, a school meeting, a literary festival, when the time comes to go, I don’t wanna.  But that’s why it’s all the more important for me to say YES when I’m invited to go somewhere, do something, step outside that nice little box I call my home.  Once I’m committed, I have to go.  And if I go, maybe I’ll actually discover that I like where I am.

That’s what happened with Coachella–I would have canceled if I hadn’t promised my son and friend a year in advance to accompany them, and now it ranks as one of my favorite weekends of all time.

Not every experience is like Coachella–sometimes I break out of my comfort zone only to find that I am, truly, uncomfortable.  And I’ll never like having to drive long distances.  And when I’m separated from too much of my family, I feel this constant strain, like something in me just needs to get BACK.  But it’s worth a little discomfort to discover unexpected joys, so I’ll keep forcing myself to say yes to new experiences.

See you at Burning Man!

(Oh, also, I’ve been meaning to share two links with you all.  The first is to a fun post someone sent me called “20 Incredibly Rare Author Interviews, Unearthed.”  Check it out–it’s fun reading.

The other is to a piece I was interviewed for, on a blog called Healthism, about helping your child with autism prepare for college.)



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2 responses to “Living Outside the Zone

  1. Steve

    “Get comfortable with being uncomfortable”
    – J Michaels

  2. Claire

    Love that, Steve!

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