It has been seven years now…since I was uprooted from my comfort zone completely. I had started to become complacent, used to being in the same environment, around the same people for almost seven years, thinking I would be set to follow a specific path, mainly suggested to me by my parents but also one I had thought I wanted.
So what is a comfort zone? According to Cambridge Dictionary, it is ‘a situation in which you feel comfortable and in which your ability and determination are not being tested.’
I was jolted out of my comfort zone and forced to rethink and refocus everything. This was truly the first time I had truly decided to choose a path that wasn’t heavily influenced by my parents or what I thought I was supposed to do. At the time I never thought having to leave my a-levels halfway through because I didn’t pass most of my exams, would be the best thing that happened to me.
But it was. I was literally uprooted and moved to a whole new place where I didn’t know anyone, but I was able to figure out the kind of person I wanted to be. Being able to do so without feeling chained to what had surrounded me for six years of my life, including associations that may not have been best for me but I felt obligated to stay in. I didn’t have to be what was expected of me — by those who had known me for a long time in that environment — anymore.
Year 12 was a really rough year, but I’m glad I went through that even though I wasn’t proud of my grades, there was a lot I did that year that did shape the person I am today and I feel as though if I hadn’t gotten through that year, I wouldn’t be the same person I am now.
When I moved to start a new course in Art & Design, it really felt like a second chance to do what I wanted and I tried to work as hard as I could. I knew every moment counted and this was a chance to prove that I could do this.
There are so many types of comfort zones, sticking to what you know, what you’re sure will work out. Those can be nice and sometimes, they can feel safe. But I realise looking back, that it is the times where I wasn’t comfortable that I was able to discover and nurture aspects of myself that I didn’t realise was there. I grow the most outside of my comfort zone, trying different things, different approaches, different ways of working, considering different perspectives.
It isn’t always easy, and it isn’t supposed to be, but the end result makes it all the more worth it. That fulfilment and personal growth make it worth it.