Wednesday, September 14, 2016

On Comfort Zones

I hit a point in Jackson where I was becoming uncomfortable in my comfort zone. This meant that I was afraid of being too comfortable and letting the comfort of life prevent me from having new experiences. New experiences that make me feel alive. I know what it’s like to be outside of my comfort zone and it can be exhilarating.  

I can say that in the United States my comfort zone was quite large. The whole of Jackson, the whole of the country, frankly the whole of the Western world was my comfort zone. Even if I were to travel to a new city, I could still make sense of my surroundings and use language to navigate any situation.

Though now, that I am out of my comfort zone, I am fighting just as hard to create one as I was to get rid of one. 

My advanced moral to this story is that even if we bring ourselves outside of our comfort zone, we will attempt to create one in another place. In this situation, I have found that this is our natural way of being. Here in my brand new life in Japan, my comfort zone doesn’t reach much larger than a few square miles. Thankfully, my workplace, grocery store, coffee shop, and park are within this comfort zone, though I realize it would perhaps be larger if necessity dictated it. 

In my stubbornness, I don’t want to be forced out of my comfort zone. If and when I want to venture out, I want to make the choice myself. I will do it all in my own time. I think day by day my comfort zone may be growing. Not always in a physical sense but in the way of trying new things and having new experiences too. 

Though just more than three weeks have past for me in Japan, I feel as if I have been growing at a rapid pace. At most times I write with incredible optimism, but I won’t lie, living a life outside of your comfort zone is no easy feat. I have many days that I ask myself “why did I do this” or “why did I want to put myself through this?” Though first and foremost this experience is extremely interesting, I have much time in which I feel I am just getting by and I merely just exist. I have yet to feel the same fulfillment that I do in my American lifestyle. One in which I can understand and I am understood and I don’t have to constantly question my world. Culture is so deeply ingrained in us and you can remove the girl from the culture but you can’t remove the culture from the girl. 

By this experience I hope to be the scout, the explorer, the messenger which brings back information to my own culture about a different one. Though many of the cultural norms of Japan don’t exactly jive with the moral fiber of my being, I want to do my best to respect and understand them as to realize what it feels like from a different perspective. When you do this, you realize there are not many rights and wrongs of life, just different ways.