Monday, January 21, 2013

Moving out of your comfort zone.

After years of being the exception I thought I knew how to survive in the dark dangerous zone of unfamiliarity.  I was part of the brave new world where women were equal to men. I had obtained an honours mathematics and computer science degree from the prestigious University of Waterloo.  I had obtained a master's degree in engineering and was pursuing a doctorate degree in the same subject area.

The first inkling of a flaw in my internal logic with respect to gender came while I was pregnant for the second time (I miscarried my first).  I vividly remember being in the women's bathroom of my engineering graduate school department and looking myself in the mirror and saying to myself:  "Wow, being a woman sucks."

The precipitous 'event' which was less an event but more of an all encompassing new way of life for me at that time was being nauseous 24/7. It was horrible. Horrible enough to wish I wasn't a woman. It seemed grossly unfair to me that biology had dictated not only labour (of which I was mortally afraid and as it turned out, with good reason) but also this feeling of wanting to throw up, constantly.  Morning sickness became a cruel euphemism ridiculing my constant state of gagging. I wonder if Princess Kate had this same realization.

Upon reflection I see that this nausea was perhaps a biological reminder that by becoming a parent, you move so far out of your comfort zone that a warm up sure doesn't hurt. Science doesn't seem to support this idea but how could it?  How could this idea even be tested?

Yet, if you ask any parent if they believe having children moved them out of their comfort zone I believe you would get 100% concurrence on this sentiment as well as an addendum:  "Most rewarding thing I've ever done."

So, forgetting the science, ask yourself what is making you uncomfortable, right now?  Could it be something that if you persevere it will end up rewarding you?

I'm grappling with these questions even as I type these words.  Some of the reading I've been doing about the art and practice of writing suggests that if you are painfully extracting words from deep within, you have found your voice. I am all too familiar with this notion yet constantly reject practicing (i.e. like maintaining this blog). 


  1. Your posts are always interesting and certainly keep this reader curious and more informed.

    My second and third pregnancies had morning sickness. My fourth (my second miscarriage) didn't.

    And I also believe for our lives to be maximised we need to move out of the comfort zone. Nothing much happens in a septic tank, the warmth is great but the smell can kill ya.


    1. Shyte is warm and comfortable, but it's still shyte (waste).



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