comfort zone

photo by Briley Noel

This was supposed to be a post about my weekend spent at Austin's Women's Empowerment Conference. However, I ended up not going going, so I can't write about the awesome women who spoke, connected, and learned. What I can write about is the decision I made, and why I don't regret it.

I often read inspirational quotes on Pinterest and Instagram about pushing yourself past your limits, leaving your comfort zone, and never giving up. To be perfectly honest, I don't like these sentiments. I understand their purpose, and I understand their place. What I don't subscribe to is not listening to yourself and your needs, and not valuing your comfort zone. I reject people who make me feel ashamed for not leaving it.

I've been feeling extremely crispy (a term people in the social services field use to describe feeling a little burnt out, because burnout has a lot of negative and dangerous connotations) lately, and have really needed a day off from work. For the last several weeks, I've been going and going and going, even on the weekends, so I knew I needed to dedicate some time to just laying around and recharging.

I scheduled both Friday and today off of work to give myself that time. And then I packed both of those days with plans of things I wanted and needed to get done that I haven't had time to do because of work. When I found out about WE Con, I hesitated for about a minute before registering because I was reluctant to give up my weekend. The workshops looked awesome, so I went ahead and signed up. 

I spent Friday shooting outfits all day with Briley, going to a photography exhibit at St. Edward's, and then spending time with rad babes at a bar on the East side. By time 2 am on Friday night rolled around, I knew going to the conference on Saturday was less and less realistic. I had a friend in town who I really wanted to meet for brunch, and my mom had asked for my help up in Pflugerville. Those plans sounded a lot more chill and realistic, so I skipped the Saturday workshops, completely intending to show up on Sunday, ready for learning and being inspired.

Saturday ended up being incredibly long, and Dago was running a fever by the end of the night. I haven't spent much time with him lately, and I've spent almost no time at home. I was running on zero, and I was really started to dread all of the social interaction in the coming day. I set my alarm for Super Early to make sure I could leave on time for the conference, but still didn't get to sleep til Super Late because I was worried about Dago feeling so sick.

My alarm went off the first time Sunday morning, and I hit snooze. I snoozed three more times, each time trying to imagine myself going to the conference. I just couldn't make it happen in my mind. I know myself well enough now that this means my body is trying to tell me I need something else. A lot of people might equate this situation to giving up, or giving in. What I believe it means is valuing what my body has to say. 

Ultimately, I needed some alone time to recharge from the immense social interaction I've had lately, I needed to not be advocating for anyone for myself. I needed to sleep. And I did. I slept more hours than I didn't on Sunday, and I needed it so badly. I got to lay around with Dago and Contessa and not plan outfits or engage in the heaviness that comes with my job. I ate Nutella on waffles and drank a lot of water. I closed my eyes and curled up under a blanket. And it felt awesome. This weekend, my comfort zone was exactly where I needed to be.

12 comments

  1. Thank you for writing this!! I'm a shy quiet person who loves her me time! Most days I would rather sit in my bed and watch Netflix or read, then go out on an adventure! I hate when people make me feel bad for not pushing myself outside of my comfort zone all the time, as if I should always be uncomfortable and doing something exciting. Maybe some people like that, but not me! Sometimes I do like pushing myself and doing something I normally wouldn't because it can be a little thrilling and fun, but definitely not all the time. If I'm too nervous about something, I'm not going to do it and I think that's okay. So I'm glad you went with your gut and slept in!! :)


    Also, love the black and white picture of you!!
    ~Sara

    ReplyDelete
  2. Word. I feel this especially pre-dominant in our generation, FOMO, or the fear of missing out. Anxiety caused by not scrambling around on our free time, trying to get to a concert or brunch or a workshop. There is much to be gained by just resting. It helps your body and mind by not stressing out and gaining perspective. I feel like moms today also miss out on this. They run around trying to cart their kids to as many activities as possible, they miss out on experiencing their children grow. My favorite thing to do as a kid was having a dance party with my sisters in our tiny living room while my mom cooked dinner.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sounds like you had exactly the weekend you needed and I bet that the message all of those women had about empowering yourself was something along the lines of being true to yourself and never apologizing for your decisions!
    xo
    styleontheside.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have a really hard time with balancing my hopefully exciting life with reasonable expectations for myself. I want to do EVERYTHING. I want to see EVERYONE. I want to be EVERYWHERE. And this just isn't reasonable, or humanly possible. Over the last year or two I've found myself being the person who flakes out. This was never me before. I always said yes and I pushed myself to go. Lately I've been saying yes out of excitement and then realizing that I'm tired, or sick, or I have other needs that have to be taken care of. So I've changed my constant "yes" answer to a "maybe" answer.... which I'm admitting is pretty annoying to anyone trying to lock in plans. The truth of it? I love to energize myself with the energy of others, but sometimes I don't even have enough energy to get out of bed. I really need to work on saying "no" when I can't do something so that I can say "yes" when I'm really going to do it.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I hate that people try to make us feel bad about taking down time. I agree that there are times when you have to be outside of your comfort zone to grow and enrich our lives. But there are times when we really need some chill time and be allowed to veg. It bothers me beyond belief that some people make others feel bad about taking that veg time. You don't know me, you don't know what I need! haha Especially with a job that so heavily deals with the public and especially one like yours that doesn't always see people at their best. You have to give so much with your job and sometimes you have to listen to your body and give back to yourself. No need to be ashamed of that and I'm glad you're putting that message out on your blog. We need to be more uplifting to each other and stop trying to tear each other down for little things!


    (PSA: I might have been harboring this emotion for awhile and am really glad you put it on your blog so I felt justified for taking down time too haha) <3


    -Chelsea
    chelsandthecity.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. We all need weekends/days like that! I take those days on the reg. With so much going on, it's never a bad idea to just shut down and recharge! :D Good for you girl! Your photos/blog posts have been excellent btw! Xx

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'm sorry things have been so hectic recently! Even though that conference sounds like it would have been amazing, I'm glad to hear that you made the choice that was best for you. I feel like those push-yourself-outside-of-your-usual-boundaries have some merit, because as a total homebody, I know it's actually good for me to go out some of the time that I just want to stay in and veg. But you're totally right, there are some limits that really shouldn't be pushed, and it takes a high level of self-awareness to know what those are.

    I hope you're able to do some relaxing this week!

    XOXO
    Becca | Ladyface Blog

    ReplyDelete
  8. Right now I am feeling like I need to check out from a lot, lot, lot of social media. I want to stop looking at my numbers, analytics, etc. I want to only have to check Facebook once a week. I'm tired and groggy and wasting time on things that don't matter. The brunch took a lot out of me due to planning and it was so worth it. I probably could have done even more if I wasn't so distracted by other things. After the event I just came home and turned off my phone. Completely. That is exactly what i needed.


    www.theadoredlife.com

    ReplyDelete
  9. This is such a tricky thing to talk about, because sometimes your comfort zone can be a really negative and/or fear-based space that's holding you back, and sometimes your comfort zone is just who you really are, and you need to acknowledge and accept that and stop trying to be something else. It sounds like you made the right decision! It can be hard when you just really need to be at home, laying around doing a fat lot of nothing knowing a rare opportunity is passing you by, but sometimes you just need that. I think that a lot of it is just knowing yourself. Like I know that I dread going to things for absolutely no reason, and a lot of the time I go and have a good time, so I use that information to negotiate going or not going out. I also know that I tend to have a breakdown about not having anything to wear when I'm not feeling good about myself. You know that when you need to spend a day sleeping, you need to do that. And that's a good thing as long as that need isn't every day. And I'm glad you took that lounging time to drink lots of water! Be good to yourself!


    -Jen
    yourstrulyjen.com

    ReplyDelete
  10. Good for you for listening to what you want and what your body needs. We can't be "on" all the time!

    xo

    www.style-wire.com

    ReplyDelete
  11. Nicole this is so great. Your honesty is empowering to other women who need the same but may have a hard time admitting it.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I agree that listening to your body is key, and you should never feel ashamed or like a disappointment if your body is telling you to slow down and you listen to it. Sometimes, you just need to lay in bed in your PJs and read a book or watch TV. I've got two jobs and an internship that all just kinda happened at once, and now I'm way more exhausted than usual. Tonight I got home and literally couldn't do anything except lay down and watch Adventure Time. I ended up taking a nap. I had thoughts about trying to meet up with a friend, but I knew that I just need rest. And as an introvert, I know that I need alone time to recharge from all the social interactions. That's why weekends are the best. :)

    ReplyDelete

© Writes Like a Girl | Austin Style Blog | Body Positive Fashion Blogger. Design by Fearne.