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Moving out of Your Comfort Zone

By Judey Kalchik Published 3 years ago 3 min read
Image from the Hunt-Lenox Globe, as shown on

During the Medieval period dragons, serpents, lions, and Griffins were painted in the uncharted areas of maps. They stood in for the unknown perils of faraway lands.

Although the Latin phrase 'HHC SVNT DRACONES' was only shown on a map once, the phrase 'Here be Dragons' is used today to highlight dangerous or uncharted territories.

It's interesting: why does ‘uncharted’ have to equal ‘dangerous’? Why is it, I wonder, that we greet the unknown with trepidation instead of anticipation?

We certainly don't allow our children to do that.

• You'll have fun in school! You'll make LOTS of new friends!

• Try out for the team/play/club/sorority, they'll love you!

• Go on the interview! Each one is another chance to get better!

• Do the speech- everyone is rooting for you to do well!

• You want friends? Go say hello to someone...

• Just one bite; how can you know if you like it until you taste it?

We encourage our children to crawl and then to walk. We ask them to hold onto our hands but to walk by themselves like big kids. We take them to Santa and the Easter Bunny, (then throw up our hands when they wander over to strangers.) We tell them to be gentle and the dog won't bit/the cat won't scratch.

At what age do we start to draw away from the unknown? When do we decide that the dragons over the horizon are too frightening to face? Why do we content ourselves with standing on the shore and watching the sun set, instead of following it to the other side of the world?

Adults move from the limitless superpowers of being a child. We set our own limitations and weigh decisions against imaginary gain/loss equations. A journey into the unknown may cut into our Netflix time. It could embarrass us in front of our peers. The whole thing may not be Instagram worthy after all. Better to stay where we are, work where we do, try what we know we can accomplish than to take a risk.

How did we get to be Dorothy who, after battling against a witch and winning, woke up in her own bed and earnestly proclaimed that

“If I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own back yard. Because if it isn't there, I never really lost it to begin with.”

Poppycock. Stuff and nonsense. A terrible ending to a movie that was filled with impossible things. Incredible adventures. Lions, and tigers, and bears! OH MY! Is THAT the lesson we needed? To stay as we are, where we are, and not seek adventure?

There are so many places I'd like to see, so many things I want to try, and so many reasons to go, see, and do them. I don't need the excuse that I am chasing my heart's desire, Dorothy. I love my own backyard, but don't confine me there. I can both wander away and find my way back. It doesn't have to be one or the other. Taking a risk, trying something new: it doesn't mean I am leaving the best of me behind.

I'd rather be like the children in the Narnia books than Dorothy in Oz. The Pevensie children in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe were forever poking around in new places. They took on the unknown, talked to fauns, lions, and badgers. Engaged in battles with witches and ate enchanted Turkish Delight. Made friends in exotic places and then finding themselves back home spent their days trying to get back to the adventures again.

They weren't afraid of witches, Dorothy. Nor Centaurs, or Bears, or enchantment.

Or Dragons.

Here be Dragons can be an invitation to embrace the unknown, if you allow it, instead of a warning. What will you do?


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About the Creator

Judey Kalchik

It's my time to find and use my voice.

Poetry, short stories, memories, and a lot of things I think and wish I'd known a long time ago.

You can also find me on Medium

And please follow me on Threads, too!

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