So it goes.
So it goes.
I am loath to write in my tumblr because I had long held the belief that every piece of written work is a performance. I couldn’t bear the idea of writing something that wasn’t at least half thought out or revised, so oftentimes I let ideas and thoughts wither away, under spell of the “all-or-none” mentality.
Now I realize how dumb that was. This is my own blog, I can do as I please. I could even finish a post mid-sentence, if I wanted. The choice is mi
The concept is simple. We have comfort zones wherever we go: those small, day-to-day moments where we hesitate and freeze up, and roll with what we feel is most comfortable.
We are programmed to accommodate the default setting of comfort.
Yet, it’s the little things we do that define our habits and lifestyles.
Step one: Identify your comfort zone.
Do you like to spend a lot of time on the internet, like I do? Put it down. Prefer not to talk to strangers? Write it down. Identifying your comfort zone is the first step.
Step two: Step out.
How do you get out of your comfort zone? One step at a time. A simple task, a simple measure, a simple reminder that you can actively try to step out. Write down a small action to accomplish. Afraid of talking to strangers? Maybe you can try and greet someone you don’t know. Write it down.
Step Three: Finish and sign.
Congrats! You did it! You’re one step closer to conquering your comfort zones! Hold onto the card, and watch as you accumulate more and more “mini achievements!”
Example: Andrew needs to get off the internet!
The more you step out, the more you get to pat yourself on the back and feel good about the small steps you are taking. Good for you. Store them, display them, put them in a bullet-proof case! They’re your cards, your signs of not-comfortness.
If you guys want to try it out, feel free to send me a message. Something along the lines of “Hey Andrew! That sounds really cool! Send me some cards so I can get started!” I’ll send you a bunch, for FREE, and get you started! Good luck! :]
"Life begins at the end of your comfort zone." - Neale Donald Walsch
I’m looking for a jogging buddy that is willing to run 2.4 miles with me twice a week. More specifically, I’m looking for someone that is willing to jog with me while wearing a police outfit, while I jog in black clothes and a ski mask. Also, you’d have to job a few paces behind me the whole time.
And occasionally we would have to do sprint sets in the middle of the jog. Especially around main roads and intersections.
I finally wore a Dartmouth t-shirt. Four years at Dartmouth, and I rarely, if ever, wore a t-shirt that displayed my alma mater. But I did on Tuesday. Partly because I didn’t have many other clothes, but also because because.
My mother took me to the dentist that day. I could go on and on about my check up, but I’m sure that we’ve all been there and done that. I was at the dentist.
What was more interesting to me, and what provides enough meaning for me to write, is what happened after the dentist appointment. I had to get something out of the car, and using my keys, i retrieved my notebook and something, and stupidly locked myself out. Not a problem. A hindrance, but not a problem. I walked back into the lobby where my mother was sitting, and told her we were locked. And I laughed, although she did not. We called up AAA for tow-side assistance, with an expected wait time of half an hour. The whole time, my mom would occasionally give a sigh, the type of sigh that conveys the meaning “how could you have been so stupid.” I didn’t mind, because, well, everyone makes mistakes.
The tow-serviceman arrives earlier than expected, and as he gets out of the truck, I could tell he’s just scoping the two of us, wondering which of us was to blame.
"It’s his fault." My mom points at me.
He takes a look at me.
I reflexively placed my hand over the Dartmouth logo across my chest, as if to forestall his inevitable quip (“Where exactly did you graduate?”) and sneer that I could sense coming.
But he says nothing, and in a few minutes, the car door is unlocked, and he is on his way. Service with a smile, sans the smirk. A genuine appreciation on my behalf.
It’s so easy to assume, post-grad, that where I come from has bearing upon what I do (or don’t do, in this case). But I forgot that, in the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t matter.
I do not know the moral of this story is.
Get a grip, maybe.
Also, don’t forget your car keys.
I like to sit in coffee shops and pretend to work.
Last fall, After I had finished my foreign study program in London, I decided to travel around Eastern Europe before returning to the States. Although our class program had a take-home final, I foolishly thought that I could get this done really quickly and enjoy the sights in Prague. Haha. I ended up spending an entire day in my hostel cafeteria, staring at the computer screen and trying to crank out the final papers. It was pretty embarrassing when the same tourists that greeted me out the door in the morning returned in the evening to see a disheveled me, still frantically trying to finish up the last response before the deadline ended in five minutes. Ah, good times.
Right. So after that ordeal, I needed to get out. I needed to hit the streets of Prague, see the sights, enjoy the culture. But mostly, I needed to drink. Luckily, I had earlier befriended some South Africans (Zach, Matt, and Thomas) and was able to join them, along with an American named Katherine, on their evening shindigs.
We explored the city like true adventurers. We ate chinese food at an authentic chinese restaurant (It must have been authentic, because there were Chinese people eating there, right?), and there was this one part where Thomas found a bedbug crawling on his jacket, and flicked it onto the table, and freaked everyone out, and when we squished it there was blood, and asl;kdfskdafjksdfd. Then we went on a pub-crawl, going from one pub to the next, drinking at each end. Eventually, we end up in this really traditional basement pub that had exuded this historical vibe, but still had a modern dance party going on in one corner. (If you ever saw Inglorious Basterds, it closely resembled the bar where the shootout scene took place). So we’re dancing in this pub, and Katherine gets hit on by this drunk Czech dude wearing a suit. He really must have been attracted to her. I mean, like, really. He just started dancing around her, really pressing in on her personal square. And she gives us this look, which I can only describe looked like this:
She needed help. Badly. So I started dancing my way onto the floor, and started dancing between creeper and Katherine, acting as a buffer zone. Creeper didn’t like that. He starts slurring at me in Czech, and starts yelling random American phrases like, “I’ll kill you!” and “Don’t mess with me!” Right. Now, clearly, this guy was hammered. Plastered. Pissed. He didn’t even look like he could barely stand, yet alone dance. And I started to process this, and I’m thinking, “Wow, this is my chance! I can be in a bar fight!” I measured him up, looked him up and down, and I was really fit during this time, because I spent the term in London doing martial arts joint-manipulation conditioning, and I just really felt that I could take this guy if he started anything. I was really excited. I always wanted to incite a bar fight. But then I started to think about it more rationally. First of all, I’m American. in a Czech bar. with a bunch of Czechs. a bunch of potential angry Czechs that love to deal with Americans. That was the first contraindication of proposed pugilism. Second, in the heat of the moment, I took a closer look at the guy. When I first glanced him over, I only looked for characteristics that would have threatened my survival. I looked at him as a threat that needed to be neutralized. Now I looked at him as a human. I noticed the disheveled hair that had only hours ago been meticulously combed. I noticed the two-day scuff on his face, the bags under his eyes. His breath hinted at hard alcohol consumed over a short period of time, rather than the lighter pilseners that Czechs universally enjoy. He might have been a creep, but he may have been someone who had just got off work that day. Maybe he got laid off, maybe he was stressed and needed to unwind. My mind was full of maybes. But what right did I have to judge? What right did I have to hit him? So instead, I started to diffuse the situation. Abraham Lincoln once said that he destroys his enemies by making friends out of them. So Czech guy says to me again, “I’ll kill you!” I put my hand on his shoulder, looked him in the eye, and said, “Dude, you need to chill out. Relaxx, dude, relax!! Play air guitar with me.” A rock song had been playing, and instinctively I started strumming at my invisible stratocaster. Surprisngly, the guy gets really excited, and starts joining in. He gets all into it, too; he’s jumping around, being all crazy and drunk-happy. And I left it at that.
Goosebumps on my skin as my mouth moves silently in yearnful petition. It is a feeling long missed, and as utter my words of prayer, I can feel your presence once again, as you take my heavy heart and make it light.
In this moment of brevity, I clearly understand how every Christian must have felt, from St. Augustine, to George Fox, in that quiet moment when you filled the soul with your spirit.