Reflections on my comfort zone
Spoke to a good friend today; a guy I havenâ€™t seen in several years, but we exchange emails pretty regularly. Heâ€™s been having a rough time this year: he lost his job earlier this year, and has been trying to find work to keep him afloat while he revamps his career. He mentioned to me today that he was moving back to our hometown so that his kids would be near family while he gets thing sorted out.
Home is a comfort zone, and itâ€™s the place to go when things are bad; while I support my friend, I did give him one piece of advice: donâ€™t settle there. Itâ€™s not a bad place to live, and I have lots of friends who are very happy to live there, but thereâ€™s a difference between making the decision to live someplace because you like the benefits (home, a small town life) and settling for a life because youâ€™ve run into a wall elsewhere. This guy and I always had the dream of leaving town; granted, we both thought life was going to be different than it turned out, but at least we both managed to get that part right. We moved out, onward, and upward. Itâ€™s OK to go back to visit, but donâ€™t stay unless youâ€™re sure you know why youâ€™ve decided to stay.
As I was thinking about this, I realized how much I have settled in my own career. I like my current job (lots of benefits), but Iâ€™ve gotten bored with the grind lately. Iâ€™ve stopped challenging myself to learn something new, and have settled into the â€śsame old, same oldâ€ť because itâ€™s easier that way. While I continue to be productive, I havenâ€™t grown professionally as a developer, and thatâ€™s not a good place to stay. Itâ€™s OK to visit, but not OK to settle.
So today, I seize the day. I go back to the lists of things to do, and I start ripping through them and challenge myself to learn something new.