TASK #39: COMFORT ZONE
“Half the people in American are faking it”. Robert Mitchum
You come in alone, you die alone–it’s what you do in the middle that makes a difference.
Problem is, we don’t want to do anything in between being born and being dead. We want to sit around, get old and fat and watch other people do things on television.
That’s me. I’ve become passive. A watcher. Afraid to take a risk.
There was a time when I thought nothing of taking risks. Nothing at all…for a while I lived in LA, and me and my buddies would drive to the Mexico border, walk into TJ, drink at bars that smelled like cigarettes and cheap beer, puke in an alley and eat street tacos, which is probably more dangerous, gastronomically, than drinking lighter fluid.
I let a guy try to shoot a beer stein off the top of my head with a .22. I lit off some firecrackers in front of a police station. I took a crap in the backseat of my friend’s car and I had sex with a girl with her parents in the same room.
All risks. Gladly done. All silly and stupid but just as much a part of my development as puberty and peach schnapps.
But that was then and sadly, now I’m a middle-aged paunchy lawnmower jockey. My idea of taking a risk these days is to eat peanut butter that’s a week over its expiration date. I used to spend time thinking about getting into trouble, and now I spend a lot of time thinking about things like insurance, security systems, breath mints, and what time I be home so I can watch Big Brother, even if that hot as a ghost pepper Julie Chen is off the show.
I don’t go to clubs anymore, I don’t go hiking anymore, I don’t even go to the beach anymore. Too much of a hassle.
So, when this young dude I work with asked me to go with he and his friends to a hip-hop show at a bowling alley, I looked at him like “are you our of your effing mind”? I don’t go to clubs. I don’t like hip hop. I am in bed at 11pm.
But later, as I sat in my cubicle and looked at my computer, and I thought about going home to my wife’s meatloaf, and I thought about my rusty Kia, and the late payment from the cable company, I thought, “what the hell?”
I went. To be honest, I almost backed out when I found out that the show didn’t start ’til 11pm, and the club was way off on the other side of town, but I went.
And I drank too much. And used the women’s bathroom. And made a fool of myself trying to dance to the music, but I’ll tell you–I had FUN!!!
The next day I sat at my computer, nursing a hangover that made my hair hurt, but I smiled all day.
This week you are going to bust your way out of your comfort zone.
Try Indian food. Try rollerblading, Shave off your mustache or shave your head. Go to a foreign film or take a yoga class or corner your boss with a crazy idea.
Wake your ass up! Do something out of the ordinary!