I’m a big quotes person. I seriously love them. When I was perusing the internet earlier, I stumbled upon a quote that really struck a cord with me in relation to my study abroad experience.
“Comfort is the enemy of achievement.”
That can seem a little harsh, when you first read it, but I encourage you to take a step back and really think about it. Think about the times in life where you were really, truly, comfortable. And no, I don’t mean the days where you stay in sweatpants without having to worry about anything trivial, like putting on a bra. I mean the times where you were comfortable in your education. In your job. In your social circle. Did you see a lot of achievement? Because I can tell you from my personal experience, I haven’t.
When I was completely comfortable in my education, I was a senior in high school, and I can assure you that I did the absolute minimum to get through the year.
When I was completely comfortable in my previous places of employment, I would slack off, and my innovation and desire to make my workplace better dwindled.
When I was completely comfortable in my social circle, I stopped reaching out to new people, content to go to the same bars and drink the same drinks and listen to the same music with the same group of twenty people around me.
When you are comfortable NOTHING CHANGES.
Right now, I’m living in the middle of a season of discomfort, as I like to call it. I haven’t had normalcy in my life, or routine, for about 5 months now, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. I am constantly doing new things, going new places, meeting new people and ACHIEVING my goals of seeing the world, of befriending strangers, and making unforgettable memories.
Did you ever get gifts with “stipulations” when you were a kid? For example, you got that bubble-gum machine you always wanted, but before you get to put it into action, your parents tell you that you’ve gotta share with your sister? Study abroad is a lot like that. You’re given this crazy, awesome, unbelievable opportunity to travel the world and immerse yourself in another culture, but you’re going to be uncomfortable. You aren’t going to know how to do things. You’re going to have to ask questions. A lot of questions. You’re going to be confused a lot of the time, but what you get for this discomfort is achievement. The achievement of living out your dreams. I think that’s a price I’m willing to pay.