Monday, March 8, 2010

My Comfort Zone

This weekend, I came to the conclusion that my move is much more than a matter of geography - more than leaving my house and going to my cottage. Oh, I always knew it meant putting a long drive between myself and special pieces of my past - and my many dear friends and family. But I realized that I am leaving something that I may miss just as much.  My comfort zone.

It came to a head on Saturday when I walked into a room filled with more than a hundred people - not one of whom I knew. Yikes. There have only been a handfull of times in my life when I have done that and I must confess to not having liked any of them. But this was a Women's Day celebration lunch for the members of the Georgian Bay Women's Network and I figured it was a good chance to meet some people in my new hood.

I had totally forgotten that feeling of complete and utter dread when you are the "stranger". Every head turns to look - nobody recognizes you - so they all go back to their chatter (which is hopefully not about that odd stranger in the midst). I had convinced myself that all I had to do was introduce myself to one person and then I wouldn't be a stranger anymore. But how to choose that individual upon whom I would inflict myself.

After walking more than halfway around the room, past the tables with no seats and some with all seats empty, I spied something that made me brave enough to approach. A "Wendy" nametag on a lovely looking person sitting at a table. It was a sign.  And without further ado, I introduced my Wendie with an "ie" self to this other Wendy and her friend Janice. And I had someone to talk to. They were friendly and although we didn't exchange phone numbers, I did feel that I had survived this excursion outside my comfort zone.

I started thinking about just how much the move has encouraged me to go "outside the zone" more than usual. Probably because I know I'm going to have to do that in order to meet new folks. But it's also affected non-people things. Like the mat I'm working on - which was a challenge on Rug Hooking Daily to incorporate a design element belonging to someone else into a rug of your own. It's not an element I would choose on my own, but it has pushed me into a design that is a stretch - that I would never have discovered without the challenge.

And the sweater on my needles - although started from a "moose" kit from The Purple Purl - is now a hybrid of two patterns to turn what would have been a cardigan into a long vest. Again, something that is outside the zone, and something I may not have done before. I'll keep you posted on the progress there. Here's one little sneak peak of the first bit I've knit. Right now, it looks a little post-Olympic, but the moose will begin in about 2")



In the end, I think moving a little bit outside is turning out to be a good thing. I'm not naive enough to think that being out there full time is going to be a fun thing at first. After all, I'm one of the most "people people" I know.

But it is interesting to watch myself reacting to it. And to see how far outside the "zone" my move will take me.

2 comments:

Susan S said...

It is very courageous of you to voice what many of us have felt walking into a room where you know no one. I have done that so many times throughout my life (former air force brat) and it never gets easier. But with your wonderful connection to people you will find that people will naturally gravitate to you. Good on you for taking that first step and for understanding the group dynamics of such a situation.
cheers,
susan

Deanne said...

I loved this post about your comfort zone. You wrote it so well. I felt it was me walking in there. Keep writing like that it gets me thinking.