Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Stepping Outside My Comfort Zone

Moving forward.
Originally uploaded by
Jason Lisiewski

A good day over all. It's not often that I have the opportunity to step outside of my comfort zone. Recently I made the decision to do just that. Of course, my decision was to relocate to San Diego. I have lived in my current home for 17 years, and in San Francisco for 25 years. I have been at my current job for 21 years, now I am choosing to walk away from it.

I don't know what the outcome of the job interview will be, but I know what the outcome of this process, and today's adventure, will be. It will be successful.

It was during my month long struggle in April that I realized that I needed to make a change. Since the beginning of my grief journey I have been feeling a pull to walk away from my current life. Dramatic, right? It doesn't have to be. Of course in my fantasy I just walked out the front door, and kept on walking. I walked through many sunrises, and many sunsets. I stopped when I got exhausted, or when I found a place that felt like home. This was all a fantasy, as I knew that I couldn't really do this. But when I was experiencing me deep sorrow and depression last month, I decided that not only could I make a change, I desperately needed a change.

Today's job interview gave me a good jab of renewed energy. I felt confident, and I felt energized. Whether or not I'm what they are looking for is beside the point. I realized that I have a wealth of knowledge and experience, and that I enjoy sharing it with others. I know that there can be many opportunities for me in the future. I just need to set my mind to finding them.

After my interview was done I set off for a day in the area of San Diego where I want to live. I wanted to be sure I was remembering it correctly, and being realistic in my expectations. I found that it was exactly as I pictured it. I know that I can live there, and I know that I can begin rebuilding my life.

Sometimes we need to step outside of our comfort zone to see who we really are. Sometimes we need the room to fully stretch out our wings. I realized that I need breathing room. Making this move will give me that breathing room. I know this is not for everyone, and I know some are concerned that I am making a move before the one year anniversary. I have been advised many times to not make any major changes in the first year. Well, that's not how I operate. I have decided to go with my gut. Speaking of which, is growing ever bigger. That's another topic.

Now that I am back in my home, and here sitting on my bed, I am feeling the comfort of my familiar surroundings. But I realize that the comfort will go with me. Those things that remind me of the love I shared with Michael will always be with me. He will always be with me. Where ever I go, I take him with me. Together, he in spirit, we will be stepping outside of our comfort zone, and look toward new beginnings.

I'm not walking away from anything. I am walking toward something new.


  1. Dan, this all sounds quite promising. Yes, I was also told not to make major changes so quickly, but have no regrets thus far. You're right - Michael will be with you in spirit wherever you go. If you go with your instincts, backed up with the kind of on-the-ground research you're doing, I can't see much chance of going wrong on this move. And yes, you're not walking away from anything, you're charting a path toward the future. I'm hoping that you'll experience a sense of renewal and invigoration as you work through the logistics of putting your plan into motion.

  2. in this life when everything and everyone can turn on you at a moment's notice, all you have is your instinct to survive. i believe going with your what your instinct tells you is the best approach to life, love, and now grief. i am glad your trip to San Diego was good. my fingers are crossed for everything to fall into place for you, like driving down a busy stretch in a city and all the lights turn green. because going with your gut is sometimes all you have, a few signs along the way - like everything going your way - is very nice as well.


  3. I love this. And I applaud you for following your gut. I, too, am feeling the need for a change of scenery and some breathing room. Though it's been less than three months since I lost my husband, and everyone advises against making those major changes so soon, I knew right away that I wouldn't be staying in the apartment we had shared. It hurts too much, plus I don't feel safe living alone in that neighborhood. I've had the exact same impulse you described, to walk out of my life... just walk out the door and keep on walking. But there are many things about my life that I love, including a very close community of friends, so instead of making a permanent change, I'm taking a sabbatical. At the end of June, I'll be putting everything in storage and spending July - September visiting family in Arizona, Colorado, Kansas and Texas. That feels right. And I say, as long as what you're doing feels right to you, keep doing it!

  4. I completely understand the need for change and for new places and experiences. If I win the lottery, I have plans for my family :) But I do think about how I could realistically make changes that would work for us. It can be very difficult to be be surrounded 24-7 by old memories and an old life that I'd give anything to get back. Good luck with all your plans!

  5. Glad you like my picture, here's some more.