On being uncomfortable (in a good way)

I want to try out a pattern for this blog where for one post, I use a photo, then for the next, an illustration. I take lots of photos, so this will be a way to put some of the random, pretty ones to use (I have a bit of an obsessive DIY attitude that makes me resistant to actually using a stock photo or anything I didn’t personally create) while also giving me a break in between illustrations, which are more of a challenge and a way for me to practice and refine that skill. So to begin my first illustration, I grabbed my sketchbook, which I conveniently keep in a basket behind the couch. Because, let’s face it…

I love spending time on the couch.

Don’t we all? I mean, if I ranked the activities I truly love doing, sitting on the couch would be pretty low on the list. It doesn’t give me any reward or sense of fulfillment compared to going to yoga class or visiting family or working on a creative project of some sort (although there are many creative projects that can be done from the couch). But sitting on the couch is comfortable.

How much of our time do we spend being comfortable?

The answer to that question varies for each one of us. Your comfort zone might not be as literally comfortable as a couch. Maybe you’ve had the same job for years, or you visit the same place for vacation every summer, or you hang out with the same friends and go to the same workout class every Tuesday night. When is the last time you tried something new?

I’m not trying to get existential here, but it’s often true that we stay in our comfort zones far more than we leave them. The word “uncomfortable” is typically only seen in a negative light, but in many situations it can be a very positive feeling. Think of the last time you experienced something really fun, new, different, unexpected. Riding a roller coaster, having a conversation with a friendly stranger, accomplishing something that you were really convinced you couldn’t do. The initial emotion you experienced in all of these situations was probably discomfort, then exhilaration.

So when 6:15pm rolled around yesterday and I had the choice to head to yoga class when I hadn’t gone in a month, or stay at home on the couch, I thought about this post I wanted to write. And I chose yoga class. And when the instructor cheerily told us to drag our mats to the wall for six rounds of handstands, I was happy to oblige. And when my whole body felt like a wet noodle as I held that sixth handstand, I was really glad that I wasn’t sitting at home on the couch. So I urge you: be uncomfortable (in a good way) more often. It beats living your life on the couch.

When is the last time you did something that took you out of your comfort zone?

Emerging from the cocoon

Hello there, nice to see you. I’m Chloe, here to add my voice to the vast and ever-expanding world of blogging. Before you laugh at me for my foolishness, allow me to clarify. I am RE-joining the vast and ever-expanding world of blogging.

Yes, way back in 2008 I started my first blog. At the time I was twelve years old and the notion of “blogging” was simply fun and social network-like, a way to share thoughts, interests, and daily goings-on. In 2009 I started my first “real” blog. At least, one I planned on updating regularly with content that could be interesting to someone other than just me. I kept up with that blog in varying degrees of consistency until 2012, so it was very much a part of my life for years, and I even had a whole few readers–all family members, but it gave me a semblance of purpose and accountability.

Shortly after I abandoned that blog mid-high school, I realized I still felt a need for an outlet and continued writing on a completely private blog (my thoughts always feel too fast for a paper-and-pencil journal) through those angsty late-teen years and into college. I still enjoy my virtual journal, but over a year ago I started feeling a pull toward blogging publicly once again. So here we are.

It took me a while to start, but I wanted to do it right. And it took a lot of digging through the 1,001 tutorials that now urge starting a blog as a business, as self-promotion, as a way to market yourself, and realize that I didn’t want to restart my blogging career for money or fame or even with my name plastered all over it. I wanted to do it because I love connecting with other humans. I love reading about other people’s lives and experiences, I love sharing my own, and I love cultivating a creative and intentional life. So here I am.

As with anything, you have to start somewhere. I look forward to developing my written voice further, experimenting with graphics and design, and just chatting into the black hole of the internet about topics I find interesting or worthy of exploring and sharing. I’d love it if you would join me 🙂 What are you itching to share with the world?