What’s a comfort zone? I think I forgot again. I'll have to go look that up. Let's see...Comfort zone, noun, "the level at which one functions with ease and familiarity." Hmmm... I grew up all over the U.S.- always the new kid on the block. When I was 2 weeks old, I moved from Colorado to Florida. We lived in too many places to count there and, in just two years, we moved again after my sister was born. Settling down in N.Y. for eight whole years, we lived in an apartment and two different houses. I went to two of every school except for college. Every time my father's company needed a volunteer to move across country, my father's hand went up and a packing we did go. To this day I have no idea how to get around anywhere. I'm always mixing up streets and directions. I get lost backing out of my own driveway. Growing up in an Atheist home, most of my friends were of some religious belief or other. I was the only one of my friends who wasn’t from a religious family and I knew nothing about my Jewish heritage nor any other religion. While everyone talked about their shared religious experiences, I felt not only like an outsider, but an ignorant one at that. Even around family, some of whom were practicing Jews, I felt like an outsider. My mom and dad were pretty conservative; their family wasn't. There were many family squabbles about politics--most of which were respectful, but at the very least, somewhat uncomfortable. I'm not even a regular sized person. Finding clothes to fit me was always difficult. I still shop in the children's section for shoes. I can't see the mirrors in the ladies rooms and my feet don't touch the floor when I sit on most couches unless I sit at the edge. Until my senior year in high school, I was 4' 11 3/4". I reached my astounding height of 5' nuthin' SHORTLY before I started college. LOL It was quite an uncomfortable ride to college each morning as I shlumped into the bucket seat of my 1974 Datson 710 (affectionately named Iggy). I sat atop my telephone book so that I could see over the steering wheel. My brother would occasionally borrow my car and rip the pages out of my telephone book. One day I noticed that I was peering at the road through the steering wheel. When I looked down at my telephone book, I realized why. I was down to the Ms! Many years ago, I became a Christian. It was one of the most uncomfortable discussions I have ever had with my family. We still have many difficult discussions about faith as my family consists primarily of Atheists and Agnostics of Jewish heritage but also practicing Jews, Catholics and a Jehovah's Witness. Family gatherings are certainly interesting and diverse. Having had health issues for over 30 years that conventional doctors were unwilling to treat, I turned to holistic and naturopathic doctors and remedies. Some in my family think I'm nutz! I never did have my son immunized and we don't usually take him to the doctor unless his incredible immune system doesn't handle something well, which is incredibly rare. We don't usually do antibiotics or flu shots so those discussions are lively as well. Being in sales and then owning my own business is another area of my life that is unusual. Having to explain why I'm home but WORKING has been difficult for some to grasp. As a homeschooler of almost 12 years, I have had many an uncomfortable discussion with friends and family members who felt my education choice for my children would surely leave them unfit for society. I think I can safely hold my head up now that my daughter is graduating with honors and Phi Beta Kappa from one of the most elite universities in the nation. Always the odd man out, always the weird one, I learned very early the need to explain myself and my beliefs. Being uncomfortable in most situations has actually benefited me in many ways. I guess that's just one of the perks of living outside a comfort zone. What about you? What's your comfort zone? If it keeps you from resolving conflicts, relating to others, talking about your business, speaking in public, sharing your faith or political views, overcoming shyness or being seen as a leader, I can help! ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ If you liked this post, read...Seven Reasons Why YOU Should Sign Up for the Art of Eloquence Newsletter!