“Our ability to grow is directly proportional to an ability to entertain the uncomfortable.”–Twyla Tharp
I love being cozy and comfortable. I like “nesting” at home. I love curling up with a book. I love making dinner for myself and a friend and tucking into an evening of wine, conversation, and good food. I love throw pillows and a pile of books within reach. I like art on the walls and bright colors. I like solving puzzles and playing word games and trivia. I like watching a good movie, feet tucked under. I like sitting on the patio in all seasons, pondering and listening and looking. I like tea and a pantry full of staples. I like going for hikes and then sitting down on a rock to enjoy the view. I like a small backpack filled with the essentials. I like going for a run or going to the pool to swim laps. I like small places, like a meditation corner, or my small car or my small apartment, or my small tent staked in the wilderness. I like the “boho” look of mixed decor styles and lots of objects. I like having a scarf or a sweater within reach to adjust to fluctuating temperatures. My clothing style is based in comfort: cozy sweaters and scarves, soft skirts, ballet flats, stretchy jeans, cute t-shirts. I like a steady and predictable schedule of teaching environmental education. I like a night out underneath the stars. I love doing the things I am good at, where I know my skills and talents. I like the comfort of my small group of close friends, some local and some long-distance.
Growth, though, doesn’t usually accompany comfort, at least for me, for now. Currently, I’m entering a period of being uncomfortable, willingly and knowingly.
I am returning to school, to finish a much talked about and much dreamed about program in massage therapy. As a result, I am leaving my full-time job. It will be bumpy. I have a few job prospects, but it’s uncomfortable when things aren’t clear and certain. For almost all of my adult life, I have had a full-time job and a clear identity tied in with my work. Now, school will be the central puzzle piece. I’m pursuing several part-time and nontraditional choices to help pay rent that leave me some flexibility to work around classes and massage clinic hours. That is uncomfortable. That is growth.
I am pursuing some writing projects. I am seeing if I can make this go from a hobby and “side gig” to a source of income and part of a profession. That is uncomfortable. That is growth.
I am going deeper in some spiritual work. While I have done a lot in the last two or three years, I have mostly pursued the easier “low hanging fruit.” Now, I need to go below the surface stuff. I need to look at the unexamined. It’s time to dig deeper and go further. That is uncomfortable. That is growth.
I am finishing an online class that might lead to another side profession. It’s too uncomfortable to talk about now. It’s hard and amazing and stretching my brain in new ways. That is uncomfortable. That is growth.
I just joined a local nonprofit board for an organization I love. I am lining up a volunteer opportunity that does not seem easy, but will allow me to serve. Both of these make me uncomfortable. That is growth.
I am also going for a deep clean. I have pared away some, but there is more to do. While I keep a clean and cozy home, I want to further examine my relationship with things. At the urging of a friend, and with the purchase of Marie Kondo’s The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I want to make more space and clear away. It’s not so much about organizing cabinets, closets, and bookshelves. Been there, done that. I can clear out a closet of a few items to donate, but I need to go deeper, and further. I want to look at the patterns and let go of the need for so much stuff. That is uncomfortable. That is growth.
I am working on a new fitness plan, to get back into shape and to work on some new goals. It is hard. That is uncomfortable. That is growth.
Here I am, on the precipice of growth and change. Actually, I hope that I am always growing and changing. This just happens to be the clear, yet murky spot of being uncomfortable and facing big change and growth. There will be engagement and introspection. There will be cleaning and dealing with the clutter. There will be examining and dealing within the deeper self. There will be times when it’s muddy and dusty. Usually, things are messy in the midst of a change and growth. It will be uncomfortable. That is growth.
I won’t be writing on the blog very often. With all of this growth and change, it’s time to hunker down, be quiet, and get the work done. Uncomfortable growth, let’s begin.