Yesterday at morning coffee with a good friend we discussed the homework due in her class next week. Each student is expected to do something, anything, outside of his or her comfort zone then report back to the class about how it went. One student got a tattoo, another went rock climbing, and one student had nude photos taken of herself to put on display at the MIA Foot in the Door exhibit.
Purposeful experiences outside of our comfort zones are a wonderful route to growth and new thinking. But can they also become addictive? I realized during yesterday's conversation that I seek those discomforting experiences. A few summers ago I decided to do something I'd never done before at least once a week, and most of those activities were far out of my safety zone. Since then, it has become an unconscious habit. In fact, when my calendar does not note an upcoming new adventure I get bored and a little panicked. I thrive on the adrenaline rush and the distraction of the unknown.
Over the next few months I am forced to buckle down and complete a long project (organizing and writing my master's thesis). Painful as it is, it must be done. My friend yesterday gently suggested that completing my thesis is outside of my comfort zone. No more distractions. Time for some growth.