Breaking free of the comfort zone

Webster’s Dictionary doesn’t define “a bad opening sentence” but if it did, this would probably be example one.

As you can probably already tell, I have no problem breaking the ice with my razor sharp satirical wit in written format. Unfortunately, when it comes to the real world, my ability to initiate conversation is a far greater struggle.

While writing a perfectly crafted humour piece comes almost as second nature to me, even the most simple of social situations causes me incredible anxiety and panic.

Throughout my first few years at SFU, these social anxieties caused me to feel completely alone. It took a while, but thanks to just the slightest step out of my comfort zone, I ended up discovering my place and my path in life.

Over time, I lost all my insecurities and independent thoughts.

It all started in February 2012 when my angst led me to skip a tutorial and sit by myself at a table just outside the classroom. It was there that I happened upon an issue of The Peak.

I immediately started writing for the humour section and, after about a year of contributing, I became humour editor — a job I’ve held for the past four semesters.

My involvement in this organization is what eventually led me to break away from some of my fears and discover some real camaraderie and friendship, but it didn’t happen immediately.

It was only about a month ago, after barely missing the 145 bus, when a stranger in a car offered me a ride. I was on my way to The Peak offices and, normally, I would’ve just walked away, but instead I made this the moment I finally broke out of my comfort zone and accepted the offer.

The man who picked me up was named Zoltron and he was the leader of a social group called the New Reformatarians. It’s because of Zoltron that I’ve found a community that has embraced me and finally found a place where I fit in.

Sure, it wasn’t easy at first to force myself to go out and socialize with Zoltron and his friends — I felt a little awkward during those first plasma-molting sessions — but over time, I lost all my insecurities and independent thoughts.

Even though at the beginning it didn’t seem like I had anything in common with these people, I soon realized that we are all one in the eyes of the almighty Zoltron.

Now I feel as if I have some direction in life: I’m going to leave school and join my new brothers and sisters on a commune in southern BC, a decision I owe to leaving my comfort zone and accepting that ride.

Before I made that leap, I would’ve had a real tough time leaving the comforts of my family and my job at The Peak. I used to think that the people I worked with here were some of the the kindest, most supportive people who accepted me despite my shyness and anxiety, and that it would be really hard to ever leave.

Thankfully, Zoltron explained that they don’t actually care about me and have just been holding me back from reaching my full potential as Level 9 Reformatarian, a lesson I wouldn’t have learned if I hadn’t taken that crucial social risk on my way to The Peak offices.

So take it from me, stepping outside of what you find comfortable is one of the best things you can do. I did it, and as a result I’ve made some of the best friends a person could ask for, found a place I belong and learned what truly matters in life, which begins and ends with Zoltron, our god.