The comfort zone

I don’t claim to know much about things and stuff, but that didn’t stop me this week from writing my first article on politics. In fact, if the media is anything to go by, my status of knowing very little prior to doing the article probably made me the perfect candidate to write it, no? I believe the answer I was looking for there was a resounding ‘YES’. Please and thank you.

Oh yes, this week my something new was once again related to writing – you might start to see a pattern soon. Whether you’re a writer or not though, I think everyone can appreciate that doing something new can make a difference to you as a person. If not, let me explain further.

It wasn’t just another comment piece on something happening in the news (Obama and gun controls); it was my first time writing about something very outside of my comfort zone. I enjoy American politics the same way I enjoy a good sitcom: with a hearty laugh and much curiosity about how they come up with so many jokes. So obviously, the choice to write about it seriously was never really something I considered.

But through some act of divine intervention (or just a vague interest in the news that day), I was feeling brave, pitched it to one of my editors and was given the green light to write it. It took quite a bit of research and a lot of time but I finished it, and even if it’s no good it doesn’t matter because I FINISHED IT.

It also made me wonder about my ability to step outside of my comfort zone as an adult. Whenever I think of myself as a kid, I am fairly certain I was brave to the point of stupidity, and doing something uncomfortable was an everyday occurrence. So naturally in adulthood, fear of what could happen has crippled me and often left me regretting the things I didn’t do.

I don’t think that these fears are based in fantasy however; and in fact many of them are completely legitimate. Add many years of rejection to recurring disappointment and a dash of heartbreak, and you have yourself an anxious person. But we’ve all probably experienced these things in one way or another, and the point is to learn from them rather than continue to give in to them and wait for something external to change, so that we don’t have to.

That’s the thing about age though; as every year passes we can become wiser and more fearful in equal measure. So I surprised my adult self this week by stepping ever so slightly out of my comfort zone, following the fear and challenging myself to see how far my ‘talent’ would stretch.

At no point will I begin to underestimate fear however, because it exists for a reason and some things really are just bad ideas. Like dating that guy with the gold tooth and the pinky ring that seems exciting but will probably end up getting high in your house and staying there for 6 months. That kind of fear just isn’t worth following.

Image credit: boss by Gan Khoon Lay from the Noun Project

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Maame Blue

Writer| Poet| Blogger| Ghanaian by heart, Londoner by nature

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