I’ve been working on my house lately. Improving it. Fixing things.
Specifically my kitchen.
Because it’s old, and a little bit of a mess.
It needed some TLC.
So, I ripped out the old faucet, the one that leaked and was also determined only to have as much water pressure as it absolutely had to, and replaced it with a shiny new one. I can actually fill up a jug now. Or water my plants. Then, I fixed a few broken and loose tiles on the pad for my woodstove and started tiling the backdrop behind my stove. Because I was getting a little tired of grease-stained paint.
These kinds of projects are completely new to me, and I have been figuring them out for myself—with a little encouragement from my sister and roommate. Two years ago, I would have looked at projects like these and said, “Nope. Sorry. I can’t do that. I don’t know how.”
Isn’t it funny how often I don’t know how becomes all-consuming? How quickly I can’t becomes the answer to . . . just about anything? I never realized how many walls I put up around my abilities by saying I can’t.
I couldn’t fix the problems in my house.
I couldn’t speak in public.
I couldn’t run a half-marathon.
I didn’t know how.
The last eight months have been a kind of releasing for me. I can’t has become I’ll try, and I don’t know how has become I’ll give it a shot. On Friday, I decided to see just how far I could really run and ended up with my first half-marathon under my belt. The week before, I participated in a week-long writer’s meeting and spent a whole day pitching my ideas to the group and talking about why I liked each one or thought it was important. Since starting my job, I’ve said yes to being videoed, recorded, critiqued, mentored, and even to semi-public speaking.
Now I’m tiling my backdrop and planning for the spring, when I will be building an addition onto my home. (Because every writer needs a library.)
Suffice to say, I’ve gotten sick of the edges of my comfort zone acting as a fence. My efforts may not be completely perfect, but I can’t hasn’t factored into any of them.
I’d count that as an improvement.
What are some things that you have been doing outside your comfort zone lately? Tell me about them in the comments!