To the girl who stepped outside her comfort zone

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If you all have learned absolutely anything about me, it is probably that having control over my life is one of my favorite things, (even though deep down I know I don’t). So, when I was given the opportunity to study abroad, I immediately took it but had some doubts and fears going into it.

First off, I really don’t like airplanes, so a long overnight flight wasn’t anything that made me want to jump up and down. And before you say, “oh are you claustrophobic?” No, I just like to always have a way out of situations and in a plane 30,000 feet in the air, that is a little hard to manage. I’d also never been on a flight by myself, let alone one so long. But what better time to jump in than when my whole life is about to change. So when I went through security and waved goodbye to my family one last time, I knew my adventure had officially begun. And spoiler alert, I made it all in one piece.

As I slowly started the process of getting over my irrational fear of planes, I stepped into one of the biggest airports I have ever been in and had to find my way, scary I know. I was told if you act like you know what you are doing, then you will feel like it. It’s all about confidence, that fake it ‘til you make it attitude. So that’s exactly what I did, even though I was scared to death about getting lost, losing luggage, or my passport I stayed calm, cool, and collected and made it.

I also have been meeting tons of new people. As a girl who has lived not only in the same region but same state my entire life, I wouldn’t say I am the most cultured person on the planet. So, as I moved into a cultural melting pot, I am experiencing new culture at every turn. 

Being from the south, we are taught from a young age that talking to literally anyone around you isn’t something that’s weird to do. I am used to a very welcoming environment where you can meet someone on the street and invite them to a family barbeque. In a new city, I have learned that people tend to keep to themselves, airpods are always in, and speaking on public transportation is very unlikely to happen. As much as I love being social, I am starting to become accustomed to doing my own thing and living in my own little world.

I talked to my little, Grace, and her mom on FaceTime a few days ago and her mom was giving me some great advice, like moms always do. She told me “this is a once in a lifetime experience, cherish every moment because one moment could change your entire life. It’s like the movie Sliding Doors, which is about a girl who sees what her life is like if she gets on the train and if she misses it. Take this opportunity because you deserve it.” And that’s my motivation for this trip, why not take the risk and experience every opportunity to the fullest?

As much as I want to stay inside my bubble, there is no newness in there. There is a graphic I found on pinterest that said, “your comfort zone isn’t where the magic will happen.” And as much as I would like to think that isn’t true, it is. I would not have any new experiences; let alone the amazing ones I am having every day on this new journey if I would have stayed inside my comfort zone. I wouldn’t have even considered going on this trip if I really was so set in my ways. So, maybe this new chapter of life I am embarking on is the push I needed to become the girl I have always been deep down. A girl who doesn’t say no to new adventure, a girl who is excitedly expecting every new morning, a girl who doesn’t have a comfort zone because each new day holds something new to discover.

So, to the girl who stepped outside her comfort zone, we are doing it!! It is scary at times because we want to stay in our bubble, in our comfort, and the things we know. But if we already know, then how will we learn new things. Say yes to new adventures, make new friends, meet people who don’t have the same backgrounds as you, try new food (I’m definitely slow on that), and just be present in every new experience. You never know where it can take you and what you may miss out on if you don’t go.