My biggest fear is the unknown. Yea, yea, that sounds fake deep but when I looked at all the things that scared me, that made me a little bit uncomfortable, I realized that was the common denominator. I like to have an idea of what I am getting myself into before I dive into it. I analyze all my big decisions, from every angle I can think of. Yea, I’ll wake up at three in the morning and take a spontaneous trip to LA, but no, I won’t get that tattooed on me until I’m sure I’ll want it forever.
It doesn’t help that I’m a big believer that every choice you have made so far has inevitably led you to where you are now, from the people you associate yourself with, to the job you take, to where you live. This is one of my favorite theories: the butterfly effect. It states, “small things have greater effects.” I interpret this to mean that a decision made in the past has probably led to the present. Decisions made now have the potential to eventually lead to some moment in the future. The people you meet and the opportunities you take shape who you are, how you think, and may even connect you to future opportunities. Every once in a while it makes me wonder how my life would be different if I made different decisions earlier. It scares me not knowing if my choices will lead me to where I want to go. Not only that, change terrifies me because I’m not sure if I’ll enjoy the situation I’ve put myself in and the feelings that come with it. If I can’t cope with where I am, I’m stuck until I figure out my next step.
This mindset has tricked me to stick to what I’m familiar with. It’s helpful in some ways. Generally I know what I can tolerate and what will drive me crazy so if I know I won’t like something I can avoid the bad taste in my mouth. However, this way of thinking keeps me hesitant about doing new things, even if there is a chance that I’ll love it. Staying within the safety of my comfort zone, afraid of change, makes it difficult to let things go. It keeps me stuck in amazing memories and toxic and meaningless relationships, desperately trying to recreate the feelings I associate with them. My subconscious nature of holding on to things has even led me to keep a lot of pictures, memes, sayings, and songs, so many that I forget they even exist until I finally go to delete them.
My comfort zone is a warm and fuzzy place that never fails to make me happy. Still, a point in my life came where I was annoyed with how it was going. My comfort zone got old and I needed to face what I was afraid to, something new, something I hadn’t experienced before. The easiest way to get over your fear is also the most intimidating one; just get through it. Making changes is making me better off. It made me think about how much I put up with and how much I cling to that I don’t want or deserve just because I was too scared to change something. I still love being nostalgic but I stopped letting the nostalgia keep me tied down. I stopped holding on to relationships that served my life no purpose other than happy memories, let go of grudges that were stupid in the first place, and started clearing out contacts and pictures I didn’t need anymore.
By allowing myself to move on, I allowed myself to grow. Doing things outside of your comfort zone, outside of your routine, pushes the boundaries of what you think you can and can’t do, what you think you like, and what you think you’ll hate. Doing something different and uncomfortable is scary. The future is frightening, especially with the state of our country right now, especially if you feel like you’re on the wrong path or in the wrong major. However, dwelling in the past has never and will never affect your current situation. Staying in a hostile environment and surrounding yourself with people who make you feel less than you are, just because it’s what you’re used to, will only add more stress to your life. Living with aspects of your routine that no longer satisfy you will wear you out until you forget what it is like to be excited about life instead of tired, annoyed, and afraid.
This being said, shake things up in your routine and allow yourself to move forward. Figure out, what’s hindering you. What are you so afraid of? Don’t feel bad for getting rid of wasted space by letting go of things in your life that no longer make you happy and serve a purpose. Don’t worry so much about the future that you stick with what you know instead of going after what you want. Whatever you don’t know now, eventually you’ll figure out, but it may mean taking a chance and making a change.