Discomfort: Significance Is Rarely Found Underneath Your Couch
An 8123 Community blog by Justin Nuckols.
One thing I have noticed having submersed myself in the 8123 community years and years ago, is the absolute confidence that is felt in discomfort. The space outside our comfort zone where we’ve never wandered into, the experiences we’ve never attempted, and the opportunities to learn something we don’t yet know. As I write, you’re probably aware that The Maine are hard at work on album 7, and every peek into the process hints at something different from what we may expect. John has said it is going to be risky in all aspects. These ventures into the unknown for The Maine, and even for those who undertake the same chance, creates the impetus to grow. To develop our talents. To learn more about ourselves and the world around us. Next time you feel the stir of butterflies in your stomach, or shake in your palms, or feel your subconscious pushing you from within to take the leap, I beg you not to keep your feet cemented to the floor. As a collective community, a few ideas for finding discomfort, and then growth, could be:
Volunteering at a Food Bank
Having done this for the first time nearly 8 years ago, I still look back on the transformative experience that resulted from this. The thought of connecting to, talking to, and distributing food to those living in poverty in Phoenix probably made my 13 year old self near paralyzed. But looking back, that’s not what I remember. I remember the similarities behind myself and those struggling who for their next meal, despite the contrast on the surface. This discomfort at the time broke a preconceived notion that there were too many differences between us to make an impact. We’re all people with hopes and fears who find solace in the helping hand of others. This initial discomfort, and realized perspective, will probably go much further for you than any less fortunate person we can help feed. Never hesitate to help out of fear. Dive in the deep end. It’s worth it.
Passions Into Purpose
Each one of us has a unique skill set and an activity that we find escape in. Whatever it may be, pursue it with every ounce of effort and energy. Push to expand that skill and grow in it every time you put your hands and mind to it. Many times we find jobs and careers that will give us a means to go enjoy that blissful hobby. But try looking at it from the reverse. Imagine pursuing that passion so relentlessly that you find yourself making a career or job out of it. You end up turning your passion into your purpose. Discomfort will be there every step of the process, because unfortunately, this isn’t the life journey many people are encouraged to take. Through your ups and downs, peaks and valleys, successes and setbacks, personal growth will be unavoidable.
Reach Out to a Stranger
If you’re an extrovert, maybe this already innate and woven into who you are. For anyone else, leaving yourself vulnerable and open to read by complete strangers can be terrifying and discomforting. I have the confidence that there is something to learn from the friends we have yet to meet, including every individual in this 8123 family. This unique community is largely started around complete strangers meeting at a concert from a single common interest. We can extend this binding support and friendship with anyone we meet. It’s a hell of a lot harder to find someone you have nothing in common with than to find a stranger with whom you can’t relate. Get uncomfortable and extend this family. On that note, I’ll quote CSWS - “your best friends are the strangers in bars”.
Take a Weekend Trip...Anywhere
Extroverted or introverted, many of us enjoy the familiarity of our hometown, our typical weekend crowd, and the routine places to hit during free time. I’ve often caught myself speaking of grandiose plans to go visit this place or that on a weekend. This past summer, I hopped in dozens of planes and drove countless miles to visit the places I hadn’t seen in years or never been to at all. Breaking the routine, getting uncomfortable for a few days, and embracing whatever comes grew my inner-confidence to now say yes to any new experience. Go out and see the world (specifically Phoenix for the 8123 Fest) and create new stories to tell for years to come, meet new people you’ll become best friends with, and find that thrill that comes from exploring the cities you’ve yet to see.
We rarely grow in the comfort and familiarity of the safe zone. Get out there. Spread the 8123 spirit. Get uncomfortable.