This month’s topic for the Jewelry Artisans Community blog hop is: COMFORT ZONES
What exactly is a comfort zone? And how does it apply to jewelry making? Why am I so uncomfortable trying to write about it?
According to several different dictionaries I found two distinct descriptions of what is understood by the term “comfort zone”. One is essentially related to physical comfort, temperature, humidity, etc. You know, when you feel like this…
The other pertains to a level of emotional comfort, one of fond familiarity, the absence of stress. And by that definition I could definitely consider my little basement jewelry work shop my comfort zone:) It is where I do what I love most, I get to create something with my hands, with fairly basic materials and tools. A work or beauty, hopefully cherished by its wearer for a long, long time.
It is the one place in this house full of men folk that no one – except our Rascal – dares to enter without my permission or invitation, my sanctuary from cooking, shopping, laundry, doctor appointments, cleaning toilets. It is where I get to be a girl and play with pretty baubles.
It is also the obvious choice for me to write about. And that is exactly why I won’t.
I have to confess that this comfort zone thing had me absolutely stumped. I could not find my way into this ambiguous subject. Mentally, I paced back and forth, stumbled into a few dead ends, got side tracked plenty, rebelled against it some.
Until it dawned on me. I have found myself in plenty of comfort zones and I have always fled from them. Why, exactly? Well, you could make a case that I may not feel as though I deserve to be comfortable for whatever reason. Or you could interpret it simply as discomfort with comfort. I am beginning to realize that it is really about growth. Personal, professional, artistic… growth.
A few years ago I went on a taxing hike in the Alps with my brother. Setting out we felt confident and absorbed the amazing scenery all around. We were headed for the top of a mountain. But the further we hiked, climbed, crawled, the harder and colder the wind whipped us around, literally took our breath away. The mountain top appeared to become more distant, the harder we battled. We were anything but comfortable.
But the path was marked, and those little red and white circles became my guide posts along the way. I shifted my focus from making it to the top and set my sights on moving from one circle to the next and the next and the next and so on. Others passed us, with an annoying ease at times. But I wasn’t focused on them, I had MY goal in sight and that was to make it to the top of that mountain.
Some people find their comfort zone, like it, and see no need to move on. They are not driven to see the view from the mountain top. I am not one of them. I will climb the first rung of the ladder, may rest there for a while and then be compelled to reach for the next rung as if prodded by some invisible force. My propensity for that has put me in some very uncomfortable situations and, even though not all of them became “comfortable”, they always led to growth and inevitably spurred me on to stretch further.
There are several facets of my current life that would be extraordinarily difficult to change. Fine. But that doesn’t mean change cannot be achieved in some way. And this is where it all rolls back around to the creation of my jewelry. Had I stayed in the comfort zone that was stringing beads on a wire, or giving my creations as birthday gifts instead of starting a business, merely dreaming about writing a blog someday – I would remain at the bottom of that mountain, looking up and always remain wondering what if.
And that – my friends – would be sad.
By choosing to move, stretch, expanding your horizons beyond that which is familiar and comfortable, you are continuously growing. Very much like a tree that adds a new ring with each year, so will your newly expanded comfort zones be added into your life. It is about increasing your circles of comfort, rather than abandoning one to attain the other.
One last thing, just in case you interpret this post as leave it all behind and immerse yourself in unfamiliar, read: uncomfortable territory. Just because the path you are about to embark on is unknown, maybe steep and rocky, it doesn’t mean you have to walk on it in uncomfortable shoes. Nor do you have to do it alone. in one day. without a break.
Just be sure to pack the right “gear”, leave all unnecessary baggage behind, follow the right map and pace yourself – who knows what mountain top you might wind up on? Trust me, the view is absolutely amazing!
The hiking pictures were taken by my awesome hiking partner and brother Christian:)
This post is part of a monthly blog hop through the jewelry artisans community. Please be sure to check out how my fellow blogging friends interpret this topic by clicking on the links below!