Because growth begins once you step out of your comfort zone.
‘On Wednesdays I have my singing lessons, on Thursday night I learn how to play the guitar,’ he said, and he demonstrated a part of his voice training, clearly feeling uncomfortable. He had a busy job in television and an equally busy social life. His friends laughed at him during his demonstration, because it was a bit off key. ‘I wanted to do something outside my comfort zone,’ he explained himself.
Kids do things that are outside their comfort zone all the time. Roll over, sit, crawl, walk, talk. They don’t understand a bit of it and still they keep going, and in the end, they succeed. They keep trying. My two-year-old daughter finds it hard to pronunciate the right consonants in the right place in a word, but she babbles all day long, in her own undecipherable language. All words start with a ‘p’, soccer is ‘poccer’ and soup is ‘poop’. One day, not before too long, she will suddenly pronunciate all the 20 other consonants flawlessly.
My boyfriend comes up with my thresholds. The first one, I walked into when we just met: when I made a twenty day trip to Australia without the kids. I had never been away so long, let alone on a trip that far away, and I was very afraid of flying. But I went, on a 24 hour flight, because I was in love. I died a thousand deaths before I arrived, but it was a great trip. The kids missed me, but I don’t think it damaged them. When my fear of flying slowly disappeared, simply by flying more often, my love put me on a surfboard. There’s no one who understands why I still surf regularly, because I’m bad at it, it’s really hard, but it just keeps fascinating me.
It may sound weird, but it was during the times when it was really cold, when the waves were too high, my fingers froze off, that I wanted more. It was the time when a stingray stung my foot and I couldn’t move my toes for half a day, and the time, not too long ago, when the current was so strong that I really panicked for a moment, because I couldn’t reach the beach anymore – all these times made me want to go into the sea again, on that board, and try to fulfil the impossible assignment in a place that’s anything but pleasant. Impossible assignments are only impossible as long as you haven’t tried to carry them out. If you try, sometimes, they turn out to be possible. Let’s use 2018 to do the things we have never done before.
Text: Pauline Bijster – Photo: Mari Lezhava
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