Comfort is something that is specific to each and every person. We all have our routines, our preferred method of doing things, and know the best way to get home from work. We go about our daily lives with the security of assuming that things will go just as we plan. Then there are the times when they don’t.
Hurricane Irma him my home town of Miami Beach, FL on the weekend of September 8th. Mandatory evacuation was required by the officials on Thursday the 7th, and every worried mind did just that. This was the biggest storm ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean, so it is needless to say that fleeing to Orlando, FL only four hours North wasn’t quite far enough, but it was safe enough. Evacuation lasted 5 days, and the power outage is still in effect at my home right now, almost a full week later. Hiking 21 stories up and down my stairwell each day wasn’t a preferred option for my out-of-shape self, but fortunately for me staying at the hotel I work at was a better available option. As I sit here in one of the most luxurious hotels on South Beach, under the air conditioning unit with my fully charged laptop, I can’t help but still feel uncomfortable. I miss my home. I miss my routine. I miss the voluntary solitude, opposed to the forced.
I have been very fortunate in life to be able to follow my dreams, work for what I want, and build the relationships I have. So, where does this discomfort come from? Our comfort zone is something we create through experiences, and the preferences we choose based on those experiences. So, why even at the worst of times, I still feel at a loss when I have so much more than so many people.
Today I was walking back to my hotel through all the debris, and I do not remember the last time I was that uncomfortable. The uprooted trees, broken branches, and all the litter covering every sidewalk in sight. I was heartbroken. It was just so much, everywhere. I thought to myself, “How long will this take to clean up? Who is going to do all of this? How long until my home is back to normal again?” Believe me, this sounds dramatic to me, too. Then I realized that this isn’t the first time I’ve felt like this. This is exactly how I felt when walking the streets every single day, when I started WeSnapBack. This storm seems like it did such a devastating amount of damage that is still currently effecting thousands of people, but in reality, we all are doing the same thing to the environment every single day.
What do we do when tragedy effects our daily lives? Do we mourn our losses, wait for savior, or simply adjust? All of these options make me uncomfortable. I don’t do well with sadness, I have waited and no one has ever saved me, and adjusting to a problem only gives it power, making it more difficult to resolve in the long run. The one and only thing that has ever worked for me is change. The quickest way to end a problem is to fix it. Sounds like common sense, right? Maybe it is, but it’s usually a lot more complicated than that, and complications are difficult which make people uncomfortable. Then we are back at square one. After a lot of trial and error, I’ve learned that I would rather be uncomfortable doing what is necessary to make a change than to be uncomfortable doing nothing about it.
The world will never stop challenging you, but you have the control to adjust any situation whichever way you see fit. If you choose to do nothing, nothing will change. If you choose to try, you might succeed. I know cleaning up the world seems like a problem that will never go away, but I cannot think of any other possible solution than to try. Change is the only constant, and change is what makes me feel most comfortable.
Join me, you might like it.