8 March 2017
by Keri De Deo
I sit at my desk with my head resting on my hand when my husband walks into the room. “Are you OK?” He asks with a small laugh.
I look up at him and nod with a small smile. “I’m thinking,” I say.
This has been my daily routine—staring at the computer, anxiety biting at my stomach, and feeling like I don’t know what I’m doing.
It’s been over a year since I quit my job, and although I’m much happier, I’m uncomfortable. It took some time to figure out why. It wasn’t until I stumbled onto a book as I unpacked a box. It’s called Do Big Small Things, and it’s a travel journal of sorts. I bought it back in 2016 when I was struggling with my life—finding it difficult to go to work and struggled with a kind of identity crisis. I hadn’t done much with the book, but a few weeks ago when I rediscovered it, I opened it and started completing some of the activities. It wasn’t until I got to the page that directed me to do something out of my comfort zone when I had a “eureka” moment.
Comfort zone!? I’m completely out of my comfort zone. I have been for over six months. I started my own business, am picking up clients doing jobs that require a learning curve, and trying to write on a new book. Plus, I’m in a new city, new house, and living a completely different lifestyle. No wonder I was struggling!
Since discovering that little kernel of truth, I have been feeling better. The writers block is still there at times, and I still struggle as I stare at the blank screen or read client directions. Every day is new…well, except Fridays when I teach a course—Freshman Composition—a course I’ve taught 1,000 times. It’s not new, but this time, I’m not burned out and I’m enjoying the course because on the off days when I’m not teaching, I’m writing.
I don’t recommend this life for everyone, and who knows, I may give it up in the near future. It’s not very profitable, but for now, it’s where I am, and it’s way outside my comfort zone, but right now, I wouldn’t trade it for that job I gave up.
What’s the last thing you did outside your comfort zone? What did you learn?
Keri De Deo, owner of Witty Owl Consulting, lives in northern Arizona and works as a writer, editor, researcher, and instructional designer. She is author of the young adult novel Nothing but a Song, released in December 2017. She loves technology and finding innovative tools for a happy, healthy life. Keri spends her free time with her husband kayaking, hiking, and walking her two beautiful dogs, Maiya and Lilla. To learn more about Keri, visit her website keridedeo.com or follow her on Facebook (@authorkeridedeo) and Twitter (@thewittyowl)