The Comfort Zone

The Comfort Zone

I like the Comfort Zone. I don’t want to admit it. I don’t want you to know how much I enjoy the sense of safety and security afforded to me by living in one of the richest places on earth. It’s comfortable, in fact, to be pretty rich (e. g. a hot shower or latte any time I want, access to almost any kind of education I want, academic or otherwise, all the free white-out I can use in a 10-minute frenzy at the copy place). But it’s also comfortable to be not super-rich… always having to discern who are the best organizations to give your money to and always having to take time to let people pay you for the great ideas coming out of your head, constantly producing all this value. Value coming out of your pores. People are bottling and selling your sweat like in The Jerk. You’re trying to get some peace and quiet and people are studying how you sleep and rest so richly.

It is comfortable for me to pretend that I’m outside of my comfort zone. But not to actually be there. Imagine if you will that I writing in an open field in Peru, tap tap tapping on a rickety tan keyboard as the sound of two llamas tussle over a cob of corn (do llamas even eat corn?). I don’t know where I’ll sleep tonight or where I’ll travel to in the morning. The wind is picking up, and I’m thirsty. I’m not sure if the water’s safe to drink here–I picked up a bug two weeks ago and lost ten pounds from all the puking (Grandma will be so happy I’ve lost the weight!). Anyway, I’m doing a little experiment here with comfort. It still feels too comfortable. I’m going to put some bugs in my shoes. But the bugs are too small to really pick out, they’re sort of small and flesh-colored and burrow-y. That’s good. Oh, and maybe the field is occupied by guerrilla soldiers who are kind of curious what this American is writing so intently. And one of them has a really annoying nasal-y voice and keeps sniffling and yawning. Let’s call him Manco, which means “king”. He gets made fun of by all the other dudes in the militia because he acts like a passive-aggressive whiny two-year-old, and they find it especially ironic that he’s named king. If they were from the U. S., they’d call him “Your Heiny”, but they call him a Peruvian nickname instead based on an idiom that roughly translates to “The King’s Mother’s Wetnurse’s Handkerchief”. Actually, this is still too comfortable. Let’s make it Kashmir. The bugs are shiny blue scorpions, I don’t speak the language, the dude with the gun’s name is Manju, which means “dew drops”, so you know he’s pissed all the time, and I’m fake-typing this in mid-air, so I look even more suspicious.

Now, imagine that I’ve been tap tap tapping this whole piece on my new MacBook Pro, sitting inside the Starbucks on my block, sipping a half-calf double white mochaccino (a double half-caf equals a caf of one, no?), wearing a pair of $128 jeans from Banana Republic, having driven up in my Toyota Prius. Corrine Bailey Rae is telling me to “girl, put your records on.” and its seems things could not be more predictable.

So what are we to do with all this? I am neither in Peru nor Starbucks. I am in fact in the unknown (not geographically, but otherwise) at all times. The mystery is veiled more thickly at Starbucks. Veiled with heavy whipped cream. It almost seems that my sense of feeling in control and feeling secure is kind of inversely proportional to my actual well-being. This applies especially to dancing and performing in my experience, but probably to everything.

About Administrator

Alicia Dattner is a comedian and speaker who jousts with such topics of love, time-management, money, environmentalism, politics, spirituality, and creativity. Her first solo show, The Punchline, recently won Best of the Fringe in the San Francisco Fringe Festival 2008. Her second show, Eat Pray Laugh won Best Storyteller at the NY United Solo Festival. Her company, Making Light, is dedicated to bringing humor and lightness into spirituality, relationship, and every day life.

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