When was the last time you did something that catapulted you out of comfort? For me, it seems that of late I have been having an uninvited run-in with my out-of-comfort zone and I’m wondering what it’s all about, while at the same time moving cautiously through it.
Today is October 31, 2014. It’s the day many celebrate Halloween, Hallelujah Night, Fall Festival, Trunk-or-Treat, or whatever suits their faith or fancy. I learned just two days prior to today that my office was going to dress up for this special day. My first thought was, “Oh, no, ma’am. SHE is not doing that.” Halloween has never been one of my favorite days for several reasons. I’m a scary cat. I don’t like cats. I hate the devil, witches, monsters or any evil entities. I don’t eat a lot of candy and I don’t like messing my hair up. Further more, it took me too many years to finally become cool with ‘me’ so at this juncture in life hiding me behind a mask, a colored wig (other than the fancy ones I prefer), or some other concoction (unless it’s a fabulously flowing gown with feather boas and sparkly jewels of some sort) was just not my cup of brew. And still, I could hear that little voice that I often ignored say, “come out of comfort”. So I did.
Today, I don the look of a nerd complete with suspenders, bow tie, bi-focal-esq glasses, flat shoes and ponytails. I will take one for the team and rep that look until 11:30am (CST) until I quickly transform back to Casual Friday Angela complete with blazer, jewelry and peep-toe booties.
As I type, it’s 7:32 am. I’ve made my first encounter with a co-worker, two actually, who are here just as early as I am each day. Hoping I would be able to make it down the hall without seeing them I sucked my teeth when I heard the sound of their early morning banter welcoming me into the foyer. I walked, with my Honey Crisp apple and cup in hand headed upstairs to the kitchen. Then it happened…they laughed at me. I mean they balled over holding their stomachs like they’d had chili, onion rings, spinach dip, Miralax and a milkshake for breakfast. Mind you, after they “came to” they both said, “You look soooooo cute”, but by then, to me, it was too late. I’d already contemplated changing into my Casual Friday Angela clothes and just being plain ol’ defiant to the team building we are hoping to happen today. At the sound of their chuckle, I realized why comfort and me had become so comfortable. It’s quite cozy staying in the comfort zone. I, like most, (I’m sure) prefer to be seen in the best light possible. Blame it on my ancestors if you will, who were the picture of pose and grace, keeping secrets, fixing things behind the scenes, banding together for the greater good, or doing whatever to always be sure their best foot and face were forward. Blame it on my past career in television where I was trained to be proper and professional, which did nothing but further reinforce what was already in my DNA. Blame it on the nine years I spent being a pastor’s wife where decorum and order were the order of the day. Or you could (and should) simply blame it on me, as being this is just who I was and how I’ve been. I’ve always been reserved, from birth. But I’m starting to see how that a bit of comfort has snuggled it’s way up underneath my “reserve” and made itself quite at home.
Comfort has kept me from so much. Some of those things were good, others not so good. I’ve never been a drinker. When I tell people that I’ve never drank they think I’m some sort of time-honored treasure (in other words a prude) worthy of a small badge of honor. Not hardly! I’m simply a girl who, again, likes to be seen in the best light possible. So the thought of taking my first swig of whatever sweet or strong, luring elixir awaits me and ending up on a best-selling Grown Girls Gone Bezerk video freaks the living hebedejebees out of me. Therefore I have opted to remain alcohol free for 42 year and counting. That kind of comfort is cool. Then there’s the comfort which would often tell me to “be satisfied with where I am” even though I know there’s more for me to see, say and do. There’s the kind that prevents me from being a risk taker on things big or small. (Don’t dare ask me to gamble for you because I’m betting low, staying there until I win then getting the heck out of dodge). There’s the kind that has often stifled me from speaking up on my behalf or the behalf of others. There’s the kind that prevented me from trying out for things in school, or pursuing a side hustle as a cosmetologist, and the list goes on.
That is, until today, when I came out of comfort and showed Nerd Girl to the world…at least for a few hours. And the countdown to comfortable Casual Friday Angela starts…NOW.