You Are Ready For This.

By Jessica CooneyDecember 5, 2013

You don’t have to convince me that change can be scary. I cling to the comfort of tradition. I fall in love with places and people and never feel quite ready to leave them. Major changes in my life have brought uncertainty, questions, and even tears. This part of me is the reason my annual family vacation to Maine is the most important part of my year. It’s the reason I woke up crying on the day of my college graduation. It’s the reason I’m overly sentimental, nostalgic, and always ready to reminisce about the memories I hold so close to my heart.

But there’s another part of me that is never content in the places where I’ve grown so comfortable. This part of me is always searching for something new and exciting. This part of me is the reason I joined my high school indoor track team as a thrower, even though I had never touched a shot put in my life. It’s the reason I studied abroad in Australia. It’s the reason I stepped into a counselor’s office for the first time. It’s the reason I am here in Florida.

I constantly struggle to find balance between these sides. But in the end, I want to grow, learn, and make myself better … so I choose to be uncomfortable.

Six months ago, I graduated from college. I didn’t stop crying for two days. I wasn’t just hesitant to graduate; I was terrified. Endicott College was my home, my friends were my family, and my hobbies and passions were so wrapped up in that campus that I wasn’t sure I could remember who I was outside of it. I was a mess.

As much as I wanted to avoid the discomfort of change, it wasn’t possible. So, after a few days at home, I started to look for my next step. I knew I was going to be uncomfortable either way, so I actively chose to step outside of my comfort zone. I applied for jobs and internships I really wanted, but didn’t think I would ever get.

By what seemed like a miracle at the time, I found myself here, at To Write Love On Her Arms, an internship that perfectly combined the passions I wasn’t sure I’d ever find a way to utilize again. Moving to Florida to live in a house with people I didn’t know was scary, but listening to the side of myself that wanted to be pushed out of my comfort zone was worth it. I learned, once again, that discomfort is where you grow and become better.

So now, six months later, I find myself in a position very similar to the one I was in when I graduated. About to leave behind a place and a group of people I’ve come to love. Completely unsure about what the future holds. Dealing with the real world struggles of finding a job that feels meaningful, and paying off loans, and finding time to see people I care about. Yes, I’m a little scared. It’s definitely uncomfortable, but I am going to use this discomfort to push me toward my next great adventure. 

So I challenge you to take your next step with me. Maybe it’s a conversation you need to have or a question you need to ask. Maybe it’s applying for that dream job or internship. Maybe it’s asking for help—or asking someone else if they need help. These things are uncomfortable, but more often than not, they’re worth it.

Step outside of your comfort zone, and you might find hope. You might find healing.

Believe me: You are strong enough. You are ready for this.

—Jessica Cooney
Fall 2013 TWLOHA Intern

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Comments (15)

  1. JG

    Thank you.

    Reply  |  
  2. Irene

    Thank you, Jessica, for this beautiful reminder and encouraging words that I believe are always ‘in season’, as our roller-coaster life is never running out of things that might seem scary to us or demand our stepping out of the comfort zone. I know it’s worth it; and as scary as I can be in those moments of high tide, knowing that I’m not alone and that there are people around who are about to take their own next steps into the uncertainty and discomfort of life, gives me courage and hope. We are meant for something greater, and if getting there requires losing comfort, I’m ready for that.

    Reply  |  
  3. Tatyana Yasko

    But what if what you need to do hurts someone else? Someone you love. Should you do it then?

    Reply  |  
    1. Krees

      That is for you to decide and you only. I did because it was hurting the one I loved. It’s just that I was too late to notice it…

      Reply  |  
  4. Emily

    Thank you for posting this. I know exactly how you feel. I get attached, sentimental, and see myself in a lot of the places and people I know. It’s hard for me to leave them. But at the same time, I have a need to explore and go into the dark. That’s why I moved to Detroit to go to college at Wayne State University. Getting ready, and making the decision to come here was so easy and exciting, but being here, as wonderful as it is, has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I’m cut off from everything I once knew. One of my lifelong dreams is to intern for TWLOHA. It’s amazing to know that I can relate to someone who is already doing that. Good luck in your journey. Thank you for the work you’ve done.

    Reply  |  
  5. Anonymous

    Thank you so much for this. I’m in the exact situation right now, about to graduate, and terrified at the prospect. Every one of the choices I can make now scares me, and I often feel like I’m not ready to leave this place I’m at in life; at the same time, I know it is time to move on. I hope I can find the courage like you did to go beyond my comfort zone and find something that fulfills me. Thanks again 🙂

    Reply  |  
  6. Anonymous

    Thank you. This is precisely what I needed right now.

    Reply  |  
  7. Anonymous

    I am moving out of state and I have never left home. I am starting a new life and while it scares me, I am ready. This is just what I needed

    Reply  |  
  8. Em

    Perfect timing and a perfect reminder as to why I keep doing the things I do that scare me to death 🙂

    Reply  |  
  9. Annonymous2

    Thanks for this. I can definitely relate. I’m in this sort of cross-roads at the moment: trying to decide whether to go to another country along with possibly working on campus at school next year. Both thoughts really scare me but as I learned when coming to college: Those steps make us stronger and better, those steps ruin isolation and create closeness with others and steps such as this allow us all to see that we are capable of way more than we ever could imagine.
    I’d love to intern with TWLOHA someday!

    Reply  |  
  10. Anonymous

    This is so perfect. Thank you, jessica.

    Reply  |  
  11. Ana

    Jessica, thank you for sharing this! You are right – discomfort is where we grow. Your story brings me hope and bravery. Thank you <3 I pray your next adventure is full of even more growth than the one that ends!

    Reply  |  
  12. Carrah

    This blog post almost seems like it was made for me. Change scares me so much, and I find myself coming up on a time that will consist of SO much change. I’ve always had a hard time stepping out of my comfort zone, and this is a nice reminder that it can be SO good to do so. Thank you.

    Reply  |  
  13. Sammi

    Thank you for your honest words. I come to this place when I need just that. It has been a solace for me ever since I stumbled upon the TWLOHA video on YouTube nearly six years ago. It is exactly what I needed.

    Reply  |  
  14. Brianna

    I needed this. Now more than ever.

    Reply  |  
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