On Discomfort

Yasaman Khorsandi Arcadia in Barcelona, Spain


January 21, 2015

“I didn’t put it together that stepping out of your comfort zone meant actually being uncomfortable.” a friend told me.

Yeah, I thought. That’s the hardest part about this whole experience. Actually being uncomfortable.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this topic of “discomfort” and “comfort zones” and have come up with some thoughts.

First of all, refusing to ever be “uncomfortable” means deciding that you are content with your level of knowledge, empathy, experience, and perception of the world around you.

How could anyone ever be content with how much they know about the world?
How much they know about a culture, how many languages they know, how many stories they have heard. How could we ever reach a limit of knowing “enough”?

Ignorance comes from a lack of seeking out the world. Seeking to know what we don’t.
And seeking comes from doing and experiencing. One cannot experience something new without physically stepping outside of what you know. And what we don’t know can be scary and strange and uncomfortable.

That’s what this epiphany was for me. It was a moment of, “okay these feelings I am having are normal and good and real because I’m doing what is uncomfortable”.

So in the midst of my feelings of loneliness, nostalgia, and misunderstanding, there is growing, learning, challenges, opportunities, and moments. Really, really good moments.

Being in a new city and seeing the colors of another sky are what I’ve dreamed about doing for years, when I was stuck in the same routine seeing the same faces everyday.

And now that I am living out that dream I wanted oh-so-badly, it is bigger and scarier and harder and different than I expected. What’s cool is none of it’s a bad thing. All of the feelings I feel and the things I am learning are contributing to me as a person. As a whole. And what I take back home with me.

Adjusting is never easy. But it is necessary.
Learning a new language and street names is never easy but necessary to expand knowledge and acclimate.
Discomfort is not easy, for it is the opposite of comfort, but it is SO necessary.