Wednesday, March 14, 2012

the comfort zone

i used to be that girl who kept to herself for fear of interruption.
i would rather keep a small number of close friends than try branching out.
i'd stay home on weekends and snuggle up with a book instead of going out.

then i decided to be brave. i decided that a long time ago, actually. and since then, i've done a lot of living. i was talking with my mother the other day about all the opportunities i've had. all the places i've gone, the lessons i've had, the experiences in general. she told me that i was very lucky; my siblings won't have the same opportunities. and she's right. thank heavens i took advantage of them.

still, i'm not as courageous as i could be. and it's been something i've been working on a lot this year. i challenged myself to make more real friends at college, and i have. i have exerted myself to be more involved and it has been very rewarding. everyone here makes me so happy, and i've even been lucky enough to meet a few who really strike a chord with my heart. the ones that fit, that your spirit knows, you know? and i wouldn't have found that if i hadn't acted.
that's been the smallest step. today i found myself completely outside of my comfort zone multiple times. i started a job as a tutor at provo high school. so there i am in the library, trying my best to recall any trigonometry i've ever learned in my life, teaching low-income students who are probably speaking spanish about me behind my back. but i loved it. i loved the kids, so much. they're beautiful, sweet people. i feel so lucky to have service and money-making meshed into one job. right now, i'm babysitting my neighbor's children until saturday. babysitting was never my thing. domesticity is not my thing. but i love this, too. and it feels so good to increase the size of my comfort zone while i'm increasing the size of my heart.
also, i have made the executive decision to pack up and move to china for 4 months this fall. teaching english to little ones. should that be scary? i'm not sure. but sometimes, it feels good to be fearless.

i feel a lot more free than i used to. i can feel my place in the world fairly easily as i move around in it. that's a huge blessing, i think. i remember feeling out of place. it's not very fun. there's a lot of life available for living. it's waiting for me to grab it, to hold on and ride it out. and it would be the greatest disappointment to one day reach the end and wish i would have played it a little less safe, been a little less practical.
i was never much one for practicality, anyway.
you know, at this age, there are countless opportunities and decisions to be made. a lot of times adults will dissuade you. you're wasting time, money, resources, intelligence, etc. and it's true, there are most definitely consequences. but you've got to weigh them. are your dreams worth it? are they worth thousands of dollars, months away, possible loneliness? i think they often are. yeah, it may be kinda reckless. but we're young. i can't say we don't have anything to lose, because we do. but we also have everything to gain.

what's the most courageous thing you've ever done, and what did you learn from it? please, tell me.


  1. This may be cliche, but I sent a boy on a mission without knowing if I'd ever see or love him in the same way again. It was scary, and I cried. I don't usually cry.

    But I learned that God's plan (or plans) for the two of us are infinitely better than the plans we would set up on our own. I relearned how to make friends, how to try new things, how to break the comfort zone of being with that boy. And I became better friends with my entire family.

    It's been a great experience all around, and I know I'll say that no matter how the story ends.

    Great post, Hannah. I love how you write, and I'm grateful you inspired me to reflect on this tonight. Thank you, and keep being courageous :)

  2. It seems like life demands courage constantly, to live it well, and so each step in life takes more courage then the one before it. The most courageous thing I've done yet actually took place today, funny how that works: ) I laid my scholarship on the line because I took a lot of very challenging classes, all outside of my comfort zone, and it isn't clear at all if I'll come through with the right GPA, but I've decided not to withdraw. Perhaps its more probable I won't make it. But if I don't, I don't and that's ok really, because God has a plan, and a backup plan for everyone. And perhaps the most courageous act takes place when we exercise faith in that plan, especially when we can't see where it leads; we trust with a certainty that all which is uncertain will be resolved for our eternal benefit; that all will be well. And all usually is: )

  3. I decided to go on a humanitarian trip with a bunch of strangers to Cambodia. One of the best decisions ever. I made incredible friends and learned I can do anything for a few weeks no matter how hot, how unpleasent, how strange.


you look really good today!