ADVENTURES IN A WINDMILL
as many of you know, i’m decently scared of heights. not cripplingly afraid of them, but uneasy enough that just the thought of driving through the mountains in colorado on a family vacation years and years ago still makes my breath catch. as many of you may also know, i’m a strong proponent of getting out of your comfort zone. i believe that it’s through the challenges and discomfort of experiencing life outside your comfort zone that you begin to grow.
it’s an easy thing to do, saying that you strive to get outside your comfort zone. it sounds good and people are usually taken aback when i talk about it. it usually goes like this:
“what are you passionate about?” well, among many other things, i’m passionate about getting outside my comfort zone. if you’re not growing, your stagnating, ya know? **confused face**
it’s an easy thing to say, to toss about in conversation, but what good is it to say that you like getting uncomfortable if you don’t actually do anything about it. and so i make myself get out of my comfort zone, in both small ways and large.
i’ve hiked two volcanoes, one of which was spewing out toxic gas and made me quite nervous. i’ve studied abroad in a country where i didn’t speak the language. i’ve traveled to a third world country in an effort to create cross-cultural connections of faith. i moved here to massachusets, when i knew absolutely no one. i strike up conversations with strangers to learn about their life journey. and, most recently, i climbed up to the third tier of a windmill.
there was a pretty common pattern in my windmill adventure: get to a platform and take lots of pictures, wander about and enjoy the view, warily eye the stairs to the next level, and then slowly climb up, stopping every two steps to breathe deeply. oh, and try not to look down.
on the whole, it was an awesome experience and i enjoyed that windmill immensely. but those stairs? they scared the shit outta me every time, both on the way up and, even more so, on the way down. i was literally gripping the stairs, the banisters, the walls, anything i could to keep myself steady. by the time i was done and back on the ground the whole right side of my body was covered in spiderwebs from where i had been hugging the wall every time i was on the stairs.
it was an anxiety-filled time, but the reward of knowing that i had done it and seeing all the gorgeous images i had captured made it totally worth it.
so go ahead, i challenge you, do something today that makes you uncomfortable.
do something that gets you out of your comfort zone.