Christine Johnson recalls the first time she moved out of her comfort zone, and how this paved the way for welcome changes to come.
July 12, 2012 was a day that changed my life.
I didn’t know my life was going to change, though. I was supposed to attend a book discussion with some fellow parishioners while my husband was on a business trip. My girls, 11 and almost 14, would stay home while I went the couple of miles to my friends’ home after dinner. It was a lazy day, and we had packed up any bits of school we had done for the day.
I was wasting time scrolling through Twitter before I started dinner. It was about 3:50 p.m. A tweet caught my eye:
One night only! TCM and Fathom Productions present Singin’ in the Rain on the big screen in honor of its 60th anniversary!
Singin’ in the Rain is one of my favorite movies, and my younger daughter, who’s a dancer, loves it, too. My heart skipped a beat, and then I remembered that I live in Southwest Virginia, where events like this don’t happen too often. I clicked the link to see if there was one nearby, not really believing this was a thing. Besides, I had plans, anyway.
It WAS showing, and at a theater that was about a hour and a half away. If I was going to get there to buy tickets, I would need to leave in less than half an hour, pick up some Chicken McNuggets on the way out of town, and book it to a movie theater I’d never been to (and didn’t quite know how to locate).
I texted my husband to tell him. “You should go! Tell them you’re going to miss the book discussion!” This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! Gene Kelly on the big screen in all of his dancing glory!
I did it. I yelled down the hallway to the girls and told them we were going to a surprise movie! I promised McDonald’s (always a treat!) and had them grab sweaters and we jumped in the minivan.
When we finally got back home again, we were exhausted and happy and still chattering about how amazing it was to see one of our favorite movies in that format. And I realized something.
The world didn’t end. I didn’t implode. I threw my plans out the window with a sense of impetuousness that I’d never, ever had before. And I had fun!
From that moment on, little by little, I started taking more chances. I started to try to be more flexible, to throw the plans away if they weren’t working. It was a very, very slow process. You don’t get to 40 years old with gigantic control-freak tendencies and change overnight. But that night did, indeed, change me.
I still have to think a lot about taking on new things or trying something different, but I don’t need the time I used to need. I’m now more willing to think seriously about changing something in my life. My job since our younger daughter went to college is the best example.
I started as a part-time bank teller in October 2019, thinking that it would be nice to work bankers’ hours (especially after a two-year stint as a waitress). In June 2020, I was suddenly transferred to a new branch. I was super-anxious about adjusting, but I did. I made myself at home. And then, after a few months in my new branch, I saw that a float teller position was open in my area. My manager heard me talking about it with another teller, and he popped out of his office. “You should totally do that! Apply for it!” I had already talked with my husband about wanting to be full-time, and I emailed him for his opinion. Ever supportive, he shot back, “Go for it!”
I started that position last November, and have loved it, even though I haven’t been able to really float to many branches (thanks to COVID). And then my manager called me to ask me to consider an open position at my home branch as a banker.
I hadn’t even considered it, but it intrigued me. Already, I had moved out of my comfort zone with every move I made with my job. This, too, is out of my comfort zone. WAY out. But I’m going for it.
All because I wanted to see Gene Kelly dance on the Big Screen. What a life!
Is God asking you to stretch out of your comfort zone and do new things? Step out of your comfort zone and see where He leads you!
About the Author
Christine Johnson has been married to Nathan since 1993 and is the mother of two homeschool graduates. She and Nathan live in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Southwest Virginia, where she tries to fit in as a transplanted Yank. She blogs at Domestic Vocation about her life as a wife, mother, and Lay Dominican.