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.
Fall 2013 TWLOHA Intern