Question Comfort

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The corner of 500 South and 1300 East. A busy intersection sitting above downtown Salt Lake City filled with foot, bike and motor traffic as hundreds, if not thousands, of people commute to and from The University of Utah. An intersection I crossed thousands of times during my five years studying at The U. I crossed here by foot and bike to and from class multiple times a day through the snow, rain, sun, and smog before I would confine myself to a box, or better known as a lecture hall, for several hours of learning than I often spent dreaming or thinking of things other than the subject at hand. This commute taught me that often, some of the most important lessons are learned outside of school. Moments where one is present where they are and taking in all that is happening around them in the now, the only time that really ever matters. On the northwest corner of this intersection I would sit on my bike with my hand on the crosswalk button pressing it over and over to the beat of the song playing in my ear as if it would change the light quicker for me to cross. I would watch, moving my eyes from one stimuli to the next not keeping focus for more than a few seconds unless something captivated my attention. One day I noticed a sticker on the light pole: A white rectangle that read in black ink, “Question Comfort.” I began to look at it every day. After a few days I became mesmerized and it began to resonate as I thought about what made me comfortable in life and why so. I asked myself, “Why do myself, and others, so often go back to the same situations, people, activities, jobs, locations, and lives that makes us feel comfortable?” 

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Well, comfort is easy. Its sits there waiting for us, we don’t have to try and it is simple to go back to. Comfort is nice and it makes us feel good in the moment while we ponder and question the uncomfortable and scary that only floats around in our head. It allows us to sit in a safe comfortable place while we tease the thought of discomfort. This sticker began to challenge me to get away from the comfort and makes myself uneasy every day. The scary and uncomfortable transitioned into excitement, warmth and an expanded comfort zone. A sticker began to push me towards growth and dared me to choose between the easy, comfortable way and the difficult one that would push me and facilitate growth plus exciting experiences. A sticker, one of the most intriguing and beneficial pieces of text I read during five years of university level schooling, and one that I continue to learn from today. To whoever placed that sticker there, I thank you. You challenged me and you still do today. Sometimes the most important lessons are on the streets. Simple ones right in front of our faces. So, question your comforts, go enjoy the scary and go get uncomfortable.

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Ryan HuelsComment