Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Walking the Line

This quote is hanging on the refrigerator at the home of the kiddos I care for every week. When I first saw it I had to take a step back and think about this. . . this is what I thought:

Had I seen this quote two years ago I would have shuddered. My comfort zone consisted of my home, my family, my work, and a few select friends. I did not drive on the interstate unless it was absolutely necessary, I did not go to houses in which people I did not know lived, even if I was attending with people I did know, clubs that involved closely dancing with sweaty bodies that I would never know and bars in which I would have to possibly sit next to strangers were completely out of the question. I have relatives that live out of state and visiting them, whether by car or airplane, was just not something I considered healthy to consider. I would have severe panic attacks over starting a new quarter at school and what I might do on New Year's Eve because these activities both included large crowds, interstate driving, and people I did not know.
Had I seen this quote two years ago I would have become visibly uncomfortable. . . because I was living life. . sure. . within the confines of places I had known since birth, with people I had, essentially, known since birth, doing the same things I had always done. . . basically since birth. Please don't get me wrong. . . I was happy. . . I was loved. . . but I was trapped within the confines of my own fear and the desperate need for continual "sameness."

However, I did not start working for the Lewis family two years ago. . . I, in fact, did not even know of the Lewis family two years ago. So when I did start working for them, I saw this and also thought some of this:

Had I never gone to my mom and told her I needed outside help, I may not be able to look at this quote and feel a sense of empowerment. Had I never realized that staying with the same guy, not because I couldn't live without him, but because the idea of meeting a new guy and a new family made me stop breathing, I would look at this quote and scoff. . . because I was too proud to admit that my comfort zone was this minuscule coffin that I had hammered the nails into myself. Had I never figured out that my biggest enemy was myself, and not every person I had never met or even let talk to me, I would still be a scared little girl in a 20-something year old body not getting excited about new opportunities, not getting star struck at the idea of amazing career paths, not getting excited about being alive, healthy, and free to do whatever I want to do.

So two years ago, this quote would have terrified me and pushed me to make a plethora of ridiculous, inexcusable excuses as to why I would never consider flirting with the edge of any zone, let alone that of my comfort. But here I am today. . . two years later and here's how I am not only flirting, but kickboxing, with my comfort zone:

I now go out- to clubs, to bars, to houses of people that are new to my life. . . and I enjoy it.

I now drive on the interstate- not just to school, but to visit beautiful friends that are far away, to Kentucky to chase two squealing, brown eyed boys around my aunt and uncle's house, and to airports to fly to Colorado. . . and at the end of ten weeks- to Florida to meet Belle for the first time at a little place called Disney World!

I am single- for two years now, I have been single. . . and it's not always been thrilling, but I get closer to enjoying it everyday and because of that I get to meet a new part of myself everyday, too.

I write this blog- and you read it. . . and I realize that you may not like it or you may find me uninspiring, but I write just the same. . . I am also in a fiction writing seminar right now. . . and there are. . . peer reviews. . . *gasp* but I think I'll get through it relatively unscathed.

I am a Premier Jewelry lady- even though I am terrified of speaking in front of people. . . I have bills to pay and gorgeous women to meet and be inspired by. . . so I will sell those jewels.

I will start a non-profit- maybe not this month, maybe not this year. . . but it will happen and it will be brilliant. . . and I will change the world with incredibly intelligent and kind minds by my side. . . and I'll do it knowing full well we may not excel at it, at first.

I will write a book- either made up of these blogs or an inspiring story about someone coming into their own skin. . . and the goal is to make at least one person cry through my words (here's to you, Momma Duff) and I will do this also knowing, full well, that it may take 10, 100, 1,000 rejection letters from agents before someone sees something in me, but I'll do it.

I will contribute valuable things to the world- through my words, through my actions, through being uninhibitedly, gorgeously, apologetically ME.

This is me, kicking ass and taking names, expanding my boundaries in order to experience life's experiences, and thanking each and every person who has been patiently by my side while I got to the starting line, held my hand when I let doubt creep in, and put on their ass kicking boots with me to break down those prison walls- I sincerely hope you each know who you are- because without you. . . I certainly wouldn't be here.

So- life? Yea, I'd say it begins at the end of your comfort zone. . . go flirt with the end line of that zone. . . nah, just go ahead and make it your bitch.

-Stephi D.


  1. I love it when give props to me and mine. I love that you love me and mine inspire of their tangible insanity! I love when you quote Daddy, whether you mean to or not. I love that you are ready to kick ass, take names, and write them on the shithouse wall!

  2. I hope you can translate that message above. Dagone auto correct.