Comfort Zone

Often times when talking about travel, I refer to certain locations as “my happy place.”

Today, in this blog post, Rashard Mendenhall refers to something similar, instead calling it a “Comfort Zone.”  Though football used to be the thing that kept him steady, hoping, striving for excellence, it is no longer what he clings to.

“If I placed my faith in football, it wouldn’t be a very strong faith. I’d rustle around like a plastic bag in the wind, and find myself displaced with every playoff win or embarrassing loss. My esteem would be subject to change through every breakout game, or fantasy football slump. My morale would rise and fall depending on injury and health. And my character would be totally dependent upon every great article about myself, or every negative blog post intended to down me. This shaken existence would go on all the way until my eventual and swift exit from the game of football. That is if even at that time I am able to let go. And as great as the game of football has been to many others and to me, I don’t believe it was built to sustain mental, spiritual, and emotional stability.”

Call it what you want, but it’s important to identify what that is for you, whether it be a physical location or a state of mind.  Now I’m no professional athlete, but it’s safe to say I’m a workaholic who often gets caught up in finding satisfaction solely in the quality of my work and the content of feedback I receive.  I struggle to remove myself from my job mentally – something I believe our society will continue to suffer from as technological advances continue to make it easier to work 24/7.  (Anybody else sleep with their cell phone? Guilty as charged.)

When it comes to travel, Coronado Island does it for me.  There’s a peace I have there that’s hard to match anywhere else.  I turn my cell phone off and just let myself completely unwind while enjoying some of my most favorite things: incredible food, dwelling on memories I’m fond of, and the sound of the Pacific crashing onto the shore.

Alaska also holds a special place in my heart, but it’s less about peace and more about realization of the incredible abilities of God to create something so wonderful.  There’s a camp on the coast that is nestled among glaciers… where the ocean and the mountains meet – that’s where my heart rests in the comfort of the One that created everything.

My mental place needs some defining.  I owe it to myself, and to the thoughts and things I hold dear.  So often, I am overwhelmed with thoughts and to-do lists that I mentally jump from one to the next without taking time to rest in my comfort zone.  At 26, I can’t imagine this pace will last much longer without destruction creeping in slowly but surely.

What’s your place or zone? Where do you go – physically or mentally – to get away from the things that will never satisfy you fully and revel in the comfort of something that will?

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2 thoughts on “Comfort Zone

  1. I think this may sound a little odd. First of all, your writing is great as always, but that’s not the odd part.

    For me, I don’t think I ever feel that comfort zone in the workplaces that I currently am at. Whether I’m broadcasting a game, working a shift, or writing my blog, it’s hard to describe the feeling, but I live in fear that I’m going to bomb. Mostly it’s because I have a habit (that can be potentially dangerous) of rattling my nerves to keep myself on my toes.

    I heard an interview with Michael Strahan several months back on ESPN where he said that he was always fueled by doubt in himself. Though I don’t have the accolades or the talent equivalent to my profession that Mr. Strahan does to his, the feeling is the same. So in essence, I don’t have a real comfort zone, and looking back I guess I don’t allow it.

    Now that’s just from a work related perspective. Personally, my comfort zone is two-fold: one is really obvious is when I’m visiting extended family in Greece. The other is not quite as obvious, but not exactly new either is when I’m in church. I can honestly say there have been Sundays in the past where I’ve felt not completely myself. When I walk through those doors into church though, those ailments wash away. And just on any day I feel a calm, comforting feeling that stems from the love of God that is unconditional and undying despite the great number of imperfections I have.

    Other than that, I don’t have a comfort zone in my personal life either. For example, I’ve written poetry in the past which is a hobby of mine. However, when I’m writing I have thoughts tucked in the back of my mind about: “What if this is no good.” or “Who would actually think this was coherent.” I scare myself into my writing sometimes.

    I’m sorry if my explanation was a bit wordy and lengthy. I enjoyed your piece however, and it was very thought-provoking as your blog always tends to be.

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