My wife hates the phrase “reinvent yourself”. When she hears that from me she goes pale and rushes for some antacid relief! What it usually means to Cath is that I am about to embark on a new life path, which is filled with uncertainty. Personally, I love uncertainty; my wife does not. Here’s an example from the distant past.
At one point during my military years I had a three week time period between schools. I had just finished Advanced Infantry Training (that could be an oxymoron) and Officer Candidate School. The powers that be gave me and a host of other grunts the choice of doing KP for three weeks or going to jump school for three weeks, you know where you leave perfectly safe airplanes and trust your life to a piece of silk! Of course I went! Adventure, exhiliration, heart pumping excitement won out over peeling spuds for 21 days.
Of course when you’re 24 what can happen to you? By my count that was the fifth time I had reinvented myself. Why do some people find it so easy to reinvent or change who they are? I can tell you that my parents weren’t like that so throw the gene pool idea out the window. People change or reinvent themselves because they have no fear of leaving their comfort zones. Comfort zones kill creativity, progress, and forward movement. They waste dreams and time. They sap people of energy and inflict enormous amounts of emotional pain!
And here is the main reason why people like the snugness of their comfort zones. They don’t have to worry about disappointing themselves and/or others by not meeting expectations. Think about this. Each of us was raised and influenced by people who had expectations for us. If we did not meet those expectations then we disappointed people. Here’s what my mother said when she found out I was going Airborne. “Tom, why do you insist on worrying your father and me’? That my friends is a salvo of guilt that only a mother could deliver! But there it is. The clear message was-stay in your comfort zone, son, and everyone will be happy! N-O-T.
More next week on this.
The Final Thought: “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” T S Eliot