When my friend informed me he was moving, I asked him if I could go with. At the time I thought I knew exactly why I wanted to go, but at the same time, a nagging feeling told me it was so much bigger than I could properly understand. Although I had reservations, I decided to “leap without looking.” I moved 3500 miles from the place I had known my entire life, and it’s the best decision I could have ever made.
For quite some time, I’d been feeling as if I was slowly losing who I was and what I stood for. I had become a huge pushover, never standing up for what I felt was right. Where I stood on most issues wasn’t always clear to me, and it was as if my brain was slowly shutting down. Simply put, I had given up and become complacent.
The drive proved to be a trial in itself. My thoughts were full of anxiety and self-doubt: Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea; I’m afraid to live so far from my comfort zone. It hadn’t occurred to me that my comfort zone was exactly what was holding me back. Living in that comfortable bubble had me walking in circles and feigning “self-improvement” in the way of Facebook posts I agreed with or wanted to be my regular train of thought, but never acting on it.
Apon arriving in my new home, I made new friends almost immediately simply by stepping outside my comfort zone and being myself. Yes, you read that right: being myself was not inside my bubble of comfort. If that isn’t an unhealthy thought, I don’t know what is. I had become so wrapped up in thoughts of “what if people don’t like me” that I had completely changed my persona to cater to the needs of others while putting myself almost completely on the back burner. Something about the overall vibe in my new home gave me a sense of “Fuck it. If they like me, great. If not, whatever.” The rewards of this mental change were exponential. Not only have I made friends already, but they know and respect me for who I am without having to break my walls first.
It’s been about a month since my arrival, and I’m happier than I have been in years. My depression and anxiety are at all time lows, and I feel like actually getting out of the house regularly for the first time in ages. There is so much to experience in this world if we simply quit being so afraid of it. I’d like to challenge everyone who reads this to leave their fortress. Get out of your comfort zone and truly experience happiness, whatever that looks like to you.