November 12th, 2012
I just witnessed my first snowflake, as a Montana resident. I saw it float by the window in my kitchen, which overlooks Main Street. And Main Street is not just a clever name around here. It means what it says. It’s the center of town. And I happen to be in the center of it.
Right now I’m sitting in my bed, under three cozy blankets, looking out the window at what would be the Bridger Mountains, if the grey sky wasn’t clouding the view. It’s all grey from here, and apparently I should get used to this as I’m told that winters here are brutal. And long. And cold. And long.
I woke up to this grey sky this morning, and in a slight panic, I wondered if this would be my window view until Spring rolls around. Having already decided I wasn’t going to be one of those people that knowingly moves to a cold place, and then complains about the weather the whole time, I got up out of bed to look out the window and saw soft little flakes of snow, leisurely drifting down towards the street, landing on any buildings, cars, or trees they got to first. The building tops and the cars were topped with snow. And store owners were shoveling their walkways. Life went on. I smiled, since this was one of the most beautiful things I’d ever seen.
It’s not so much that I’m worried about the weather, itself. But more, I’m afraid to be cold. Afraid of the unknown. Afraid to be a fish out of water with the wrong jacket or boots. Or afraid to be the Californian that doesn’t know how to drive in the snow and causes an accident. Afraid to be an outsider. And afraid to be uncomfortable. And so all of that combined makes me want to stay inside, where it’s safe and warm and familiar, comfortable, and where I’m the king of the castle.
But I’m not going to. Stay in. Because 1) That’s ridiculous; 2) As my friend Johnny likes to say “Comfort is the enemy of progress;” and 3) I didn’t come here to hide, or to be a shrinking violet. I came here to plant some seeds in brand new soil and bloom. I came here to change things up. Do something different. Learn new things. Throw it all up into the air and see what happens.
Blooming happens when you do things differently than you’ve done them before. When you go to the edge of comfort, and then keep going. You can’t grow or change or improve by doing the same thing you’ve always done, so if you want different results, you must do something different.
I really don’t know what I’ll learn or how I’ll change, but all I know is I’m already adapting. I have the coat, and the boots and some great friends. So I’m going to lace up the boots and head out into the 19 degree weather and see what I find. This is fun already.
What will you do today that’s out of your comfort zone? Do you agree that comfort is the enemy of progress? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.