The Challenge to be Creative, and Going to the Dis-Comfort Zones!

Anyone who reads this blog knows that photography is where my creative urges soar. In the past month, I pushed myself to step out of my photography comfort zone and experiment with effects that go beyond my normal boundaries. Stepping into the dis-comfort zone has been fun, surprising and incredibly creative. . . so much so that now I must admit that photographically speaking, my comfort zone has expanded beyond all expectations! I love it.

Another area where I am creatively pushing the boundaries is in my writing. This month I have participated in the “A River of Stones Jan ’12” challenge. A simple challenge on the surface, but one which compels me to write in a different way. The results have tickled me and added a new dimension to my writing. I have to think a little harder, but playing with words has definitely added color to these blogs!

So, the creativity continues. But what about the NoCZ-2012 Challenge? I experience stepping out of my comfort zone every time I try something new artistically, whether it be writing or photography. But in other areas of my life, too, I find myself stepping across that line that says “comfort ends here.”

According to Myers-Briggs, I am an introvert. I don’t challenge that label because it fits and I’m ok with that. I love being around people and activity, however I need to withdraw from the buzz of interaction to regroup, clear my mind, think. Then when I’m ready, I’ll engage the larger world again. One area that is particularly uncomfortable for me is introducing myself to new people in new places or situations. As often as I have moved, I am often in “new” situations. In the past I was content to hold back because I knew that it was only a matter of time and we would move on and leave the present people and places behind.

This move is different, though. When Richard finishes with his present job he will retire. We are looking for a house here because we plan to stay and make this our community. I plan to get my license in this state and create a private practice here. There are no plans to move on. Merely waiting for things to happen or for people to find me does not work. I will have to step out of my comfort zone and be the one to reach out to others. And yesterday I took a small step in that direction. After the morning prayer service at the synagogue there was a large kiddush, or meal. This was our second visit to this particular synagogue so we did not know anyone. I turned to Richard and said “Let’s stay.” As we walked into the large banquet room I was a little overwhelmed with the activity and the number of strangers that milled about. But I forged ahead, got in line to get some food, but then where to sit? We didn’t know anyone to sit with. Once again I looked to Richard and asked if he was game to just introduce ourselves to some folks and sit at their table. He followed me. I found a table with some empty seats and asked if the seats were taken. “No, please sit down.” By now of course, my heart was racing a bit, but before you know it we had all joined in conversation. And it didn’t end there! As we were preparing to leave, I saw a woman standing a little distant from the crowd; I walked up to her, offered a greeting and explained that I was new to the community and wanted to get to know some folks. We had a delightful conversation and then Richard and I left.

Looking back on the day, even as I sit here typing, I amazed myself . . . did I really do that? Did I walk up to strangers and just start talking? It’s one thing to do something like that when you are in a particular roll and you approach someone from a professional stand point, but to approach strangers just to chat was a stretch for me.  Wow. What an expansive challenge!

Well, that was my week. We are still in the first month of challenges so we can look forward to a year of exciting growth if this keeps up! Hope your challenges are helping you to grow and expand your horizons, too. Have a great week. 🙂



26 thoughts on “The Challenge to be Creative, and Going to the Dis-Comfort Zones!

  1. well done Cecelia…now how about talking to me on Skype! That would be a new experience!

    Love you and Thank the Lord that He gave you courage to help another

  2. good for you. Being a introvert, myself, I so relate to not reaching out. More and more though I’m working at finding the balance between time for me, which I desperately need or everything inside me goes awry, and time spent with others, even new others!
    Congratulations on stepping out of your comfort zone in more than one area. Together we are growing and blooming.

  3. I think that’s wonderful, Ms. F!
    Myers-Briggs… brings me back! I took that indicator in a high school Psychology/Sociology class! I’m a(n) ISFJ (can’t believe I still remember that – wow)!

    1. Funny how we remember those things, isn’t it. I am an INFJ…I think. I took that thing decades ago. But it is fun to remember. Thanks SIG for continuing to stop by. I appreciate it.

  4. Great Cecelia! On the Myers Briggs I am an INTP…perhaps that would explain a little of me to you.
    Wish I had gotten my license years ago but did not because I had difficulty charging people for my services….so I stayed in the education arena.

  5. Do you feel good about staying put in this area now, when you’ve moved so many times?

    I’ve never taken the Myers Briggs thing, but I suspect I’d be introvert. Living here, has sure been a different experience for me, as total strangers talk with you here …everywhere, in the elevator, laundry room, out on the street … I love it, but it’s different as I come from a place where you avoid eye contact with strangers.

    I think what you guys are doing with the no comfort zone is wonderful!

    1. I do not know how I feel about staying put in this area. There are a lot of reasons we chose to stay here (proximity to family, cost of living, fantastic medical facilities, etc.) but I have never lived in one place longer than five years in my life! But, I’m tired of moving. I want to be in a place long enough to develop real friendships. Even though I’m a “southern gal” at heart, here I’m closer to my family and will see the grandkids more often. Hopefully I will adjust to staying put, but we will always look for excuses to vacation to different places! 😉

      Thanks for stopping by Rebekah.

  6. Cecelia, I am so glad you and Richard stayed for the kiddush. And I am thrilled to know that you plan to stay in Ohio after Richard retires. My mother was born and raised in the Cleveland suburb of Lakewood. At the Rocky River Public Library there is a display of Cowan pottery. My mother’s uncle, R. Guy Cowan, was the head of Cowan Pottery in the 1920s and early 1930s.

  7. Good for you Cecelia. You’ve probably already stepped out of your comfort zone with moving to Cleveland and going back to school. I know it’s hard (I’m an introvert too), but keep trying.

    1. THANK YOU, Huffygirl. Today I was feeling overwhelmed by it all, but decided to just keep pushing forward. Your words of encouragement are very welcomed at the moment.

  8. Good for you my friend. I didn’t get the feeling you were introverted as you seem quite open and chatty on your blog. It is different when face to face though. I get that. You really ARE going outside your comfort zone in so many areas in your life. That takes a lot of gumption. Go Cecelia!

    1. Yes, Margie, I am an introvert. But, that is not the same as shy. I am content to be alone, and in fact need alone time to counter social time. Photography is a great “alone” activity. So is reading, writing, study. But I love being with people, too, just so long as I can steel away when I need to. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂 I always enjoy your comments.

  9. Wish you well in new home and am sure you will finds friends at synagogue. My friend and I had a howling laugh tonight , His wife attended a “ladies meeting” at their condo this afternoon. She is an Irish Catholic and wore her new cross pendant. She enjoyed the guest speaker from Israel and the Israeli singers and dancers that performed and purchased some costume jewelry to support some hospitals to be built in Isreal. She expressed that people were very distant. She is so naive that she did not understand that she was the only goyum at a meeting of Hadassah.

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