Comfort Zone

Muchas gracias por mi amiga Denice (for listening to me rant about this at National Bookstore.)

To all who might stumble in my blog, this one is a pretty lengthy entry. It tends to get boring. Don’t say you haven’t been warned.

***

It finally has a name.

***

You know the thing about not naming something? It makes you realize that if you name that something, you can’t deny it any longer. And when you can’t ignore it anymore, you realize that you have to do something about it. And this is when you start procrastinating. It is either (1) you procrastinate because you don’t know what to do about it, or (2) you procrastinate because the only action you could to do is totally not your thing.

***

Tell me, has this ever happened to you: you know that you have a problem but you can’t exactly pinpoint what it is? A problem that remained unnamed until it hits you in the face? A feeling of a dreaded trouble waiting to happen? It was a gradual realization which happened in a span of one week and I have to thank my friends for that.

March 12 2006. I woke up around 11am and found a message from Denice asking if we’d be free for lunch. I had so wanted to extend my sleeping hours but I can’t find any other reason why not. So in my sleepy state I replied “yes” and dragged my feet down the stairs to help Denice rally the barkada for lunch.

***

It wasn’t the first time that one of the barkada would just text out of the blue asking if we’re free to meet up a few hours from now. Spontaneous meetings just happen to be the best way that could get the barkada together after graduating college. In some perverse twist of fate, nothing we’ve ever planned ahead had actually happened. But all those short notice meetings would yield the most number of attendees from the barkada.

I’ve never been the person to act on a whim. My friends called me a neat freak when I was in college as I always have to rearrange the locker even if that would mean getting a few seconds late for next class: I just had to organize it. My best friend knows that I am barely living in the present because I’m always planning for my future. I need to have that control over the things that’s been happening (or would happen) to me. Yes, I admit. I am not one of those people who would just nod and would say “go, go, go” when there’s been a change of plans. Everything had to be well-coordinated. I need to make sure that everything must go as planned. Changes make me nervous. And thankfully, after today, I now know the reason why: I do not want to leave my so-called comfort zone.

***

The term had stuck to me when I heard Marikina’s Mayor M. Fernandez a few years ago talking about the people in the slum area who do not want to leave the premises even if they could be relocated to a better place. She had said that the foremost reason was that the slum area is their “comfort zone.” It is already a place that they’ve already grown to love; a place that they’ve already familiarized themselves with; a place they could dub as their territory. They wouldn’t have to deal with the changes that would ensue once they leave their areas. In their comfort zone, they wouldn’t have to worry about adjusting to their new environment.

***

Tin, Corine (with her boyfriend Ryan), Denice and I met at Sbarro in Megamall. I was unusually late for the lunch date. They’ve already ordered their meals so I had to go through the line alone. I ordered Hawaiian pizza, Coke and blueberry cheesecake. I was half-way eating my pizza when Tin told me something which we all found so amusing at the time: that I would order the same pizza flavor wherever pizza house we’d go. After a while, it hit me that I do that quite often: ordering predictable food I mean.

Cely’s at Dapitan: Hamsilog. No fail there.

Starbucks: Caramel Macchiato.

KFC: Leg part and coleslaw, Go-go Taco.

Pizza: Hawaiian—all pizza houses.

They are what I call my comfort food.

***

Stability is my key word here.

***

I practically grew up with my grandparents. They lived with me in Batangas and took care of me until I was seven. My mom and dad then were both working in Metro Manila and would only come home every Saturday. I was in Grade 1 when my mom finally decided to stay and work in Batangas. So since 1991 til I graduated in high school, my mom and I lived together with my grandparents while my dad still worked in the metro, going home still every weekend. Then came my college years. I lived with my dad in our rented apartment. My mom was left in Batangas and continued her work for the government. So it was now me and my dad going home every weekend to Batangas.

I dunno if you’ve noticed but my family never stayed in one roof for more than a month together. It may have happened before I started school, but if it did, I could no longer remember it.

At first I thought that hmm, this is a weird family set-up. Just so you know, I redefined weird and made it synonymous to cool. I was in the last two years in college when I realized that I wanted to live with both my parents around.

***

Adjustment is the next context clue.

***
If you’ve read my first entry, I was never the type to explain stuff out. But maybe, I got tired of having to adjust. I’ve just gotten hang of the thing and then here comes a great change of plans and I must learn again how to adapt.

Yeah, yeah, change is constant. I can work under pressure—I’m driven by the need to make things right. Because I know that if there’s still something that I could do about it, then I would do everything in my power to have it done. But of course, there were some things that one could do nothing about.

***

I think that comfort zones are the nearest thing that resembles stability.

***

Could you say I’ve quite dug a hole for myself?

***

I want to get out and live in the present.

***
Before I turned 21, I realized that my life is so boxed and so dull. I had wanted to have my long hair cut and color it midnight violet again. I want to have my left ear pierced. But those never happened. I can’t quite imagine myself cutting my hair yet and having my hair colored this long would cost me an arm and a leg. I never got around having my ear pierced.

***

I wanted to do something outrageous for once. Something that would surprise even me. I’ve always said that to myself but I never got around getting out of the box.

***

It finally had a name.

***

Go figure what’s stopping me.

***

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2 Comments »

  1. “Yeah, yeah, change is constant. I can work under pressure—I’m driven by the need to make things right. Because I know that if there’s still something that I could do about it, then I would do everything in my power to have it done. But of course, there were some things that one could do nothing about.”

    – this is actually another way to keep things in your comfort zone.;p (as usual, i explain further). you dont deal with something until it fits ur comfort zone again. or sumthing like that. anyway…

    the deal with comfort zones is that by and by, u’ll get disgusted with the smell of your own urine that the only way to survive is to get uncomfortable.;p

  2. - KV - Said:

    “You know the thing about not naming something? It makes you realize that if you name that something, you can’t deny it any longer. And when you can’t ignore it anymore, you realize that you have to do something about it. And this is when you start procrastinating. It is either (1) you procrastinate because you don’t know what to do about it, or (2) you procrastinate because the only action you could to do is totally not your thing.”
    — You know I can totally relate to you with regard this, Mitch, and you know exactly “what” I’m talking about =T

    “After a while, it hit me that I do that quite often: ordering predictable food I mean.
    Cely’s at Dapitan: Hamsilog. No fail there.
    Starbucks: Caramel Macchiato.
    KFC: Leg part and coleslaw, Go-go Taco.
    Pizza: Hawaiian—all pizza houses.
    They are what I call my comfort food.”
    — OMG, Mitch! I’m exactly like you! For the longest time, I haven’t been the most adventurous person when it comes to food. I’d go through the menu, stare at it in vain, and then end up ordering pasta and iced tea. Or something to that effect. In Starbucks, I only got a White Chocolate Mocha. The only choice I had to make was if I wanted the hot or the frappuccino version of it. But then last year, I made a resolve to try at least one new thing every month. It’s just that when it comes to food, it’s more of the “value for money” that comes into play. If you happen to get something new and then end up not liking it, then you just wasted your money and everything else. And you know we’re not the type to just throw away our food.

    I miss you, Mitch! Let’s please hook up? I might be busy soon eh…


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