There’s two moments when I feel discomfort: when I’m doing something I’m NOT supposed to do, and when I’m doing something I AM supposed to do.
The first moment for me has meant I was stuck dating the wrong person, hanging out in the wrong group of people, or doing something I know I have no business doing. It’s the moment when you think to yourself, “This is fine. Everything is fine,” but you have some underlying neurological reaction that tells you otherwise; a voice in your head that tells you, “Man, I need to find something better to do with my time.” It’s the moment you realize you don’t particularly ENJOY talking to these people or having certain things in your life, but you go along with it anyway because hey, why not?
But I have a secret: doing the same things wrong over and over again does not mean you have to keep doing them. The longer you develop this pattern of being surrounded by the things and people that are not meant for you, the longer you start to believe that they have purpose in your life. The truth is, these people were meant to leave you a long time ago, and you’ve known it all along, you just haven’t taken the steps towards stepping away.
Which brings me to the second moment: doing the things you ARE supposed to do.
Let’s say you finally meet your person, find a great group of friends, and everything falls into place. In this moment you realize, “Everything is RIGHT.” You no longer feel like you need to do the things everyone expects of you, or make time for things or people that you don’t want to make time for. You feel like you’ve reached a transitional period in life where you’re met with a fork in the road, and ALL signs are pointing to the road less traveled. You see change on the horizon, and you willingly move towards it because life has just been waiting for the perfect moment to open up that path for you.
But you feel a discomfort and a moment of panic. You look at the path you have always walked on; the one where you see all these familiar faces and people are calling out to you, “Where are you going? Come back to us. We need you here and you need us.”
These people know you, so there’s no fear looking back at them. There’s no doubt when you look over and see the look on their faces that you COULD stay there and make it work. You COULD keep traveling that road because that’s the life you have always lived.
When you take the road less traveled, you’ll be met with resistance. You’ll feel discomfort but it won’t be the same discomfort of feeling stuck in the things that are not improving you or helping you grow. Instead, you’ll just be met with a moment where you have to decide; do I be the person I’ve always been because people expect that of me? Or do I challenge everyone’s expectations because I want something different for myself?
You’ll feel discomfort even if you know you’re doing the right thing because people will try to hold you back. You’ll feel discomfort because there’s always that underlying fear of the unknown. You’ll feel discomfort because sometimes indifference and repetition becomes your normal. You’ll feel discomfort because everyone and everything you’ve ever known will start to disappear and people will be disappointed that you’re leaving.
But if you want to leave, then go. And if you feel uncomfortable for leaving things behind when you never wanted them in the first place… well, that just means you’re growing.