We all have that one place where we feel we can truly be ~ourselves.~ Whether it be in our dorm room late at night, snacking on chips and binging New Girl for the 3rd time, being at home having a family game night with loved ones in our jammies, or lounging on the grass and indulging in a book, everybody has a little location that is *just right.* As much as I love my own place, it's easy to fall victim to what I've coined as "self-complacency," or the feeling that we seem semi-content with who we are, and have kind of just given up on furthering ourselves, internally, externally, or both.
My moment of realization came during my spring break this year. Laying on my cozy, one-person couch at home, scrolling through Pinterest for the millionth time, I became surprisingly bored with what I usually considered a blissful time of relaxation. As I began to analyze this boredom, I became aware of my surroundings and this strange feeling of unfulfillment. "Why am I on a website, wasting this precious time on such a gorgeous day? I should go for a run, or a hike, or do something I've never tried before!" This comfort zone I had always placed myself in had begun to stress me out instead. Why am I not chasing after the day, fulfilling all of those "to do one-day" lists I had written for myself?
I decided it was time for a change. I pulled up one of those lists and consciously chose some things I had never pursued but had always wanted to do. I began to be actually excited in my life once again, remembering that I had goals I wanted to achieve that always ended up on a backburner or "saved for later" (which we all know means "saved for never"). I took up calligraphy and reignited my love of yoga, which I set aside when I began college. And since then, I've never looked back.
Don't get me wrong - my little couch in Phoenix will always hold a special place in my heart for when I allow myself to let loose and be lazy. But I no longer want to define myself by that spot, that "self-complacency". By picking up yoga again, I began to recognize how unaligned both my mind and body had become. I challenged myself to try new athletic activities and put myself in new situations, such as swimming and running to exercise instead of doing an occasional workout when I felt compelled. Calligraphy allowed me to express my artistic skills, and although the first few strokes were rocky, just two months have improved my capabilities by a tenfold. I never knew what I was capable of until I broke myself free from my walls of security.
It's so easy to stick to a routine. It's easy to forget what we always wanted to do, since we fall into a system: wake up, do X activity for X amount of hours, eat, sleep, repeat. But by challenging ourselves to do more, to develop skills we once had or begin to learn new ones, we not only further our abilities, but we learn who we are on a whole new scale. We are able to grow confidence, kindle fires in our souls which yearn to become even more beautiful and strong people, inside and out. There's no limit on what a person can achieve. Whether 16 or 60, you can always dare yourself to grow in body and spirit, if only you choose to take that first step.