Friday, April 4, 2014

Easy Isn’t Always Better

Let’s face it.  We’re creatures of habit.  Humans have a way of gravitating toward what feels most natural: what they know.

I’m that way.  Easier is… well… easy. 

But easy doesn’t mean it’s always the best option.  I’ve learned that the hard way.  And on multiple occasions.  The times of my life that I remember the most, the moments that changed me for good have been the times that were hard. 

Here's my story.

 I grew up in Colorado.  I wasn’t really an adventurer.  I preferred to stay home with a good book rather than go out and do something new.  My plan for my life was to get a nursing degree at a university near home, with my cousin as a roommate.  From there, I planned on living my life without any excitement and without any difficulties.

I would have been perfectly content with a life like that.  No fuss, no injuries.  But who’d want to read about that?

As a senior in high school, I received a pamphlet for Saint Louis University’s Madrid Campus.   It had an opportunity to obtain a bachelor’s degree in nursing from both the United States and Spain.  The thought both intrigued and terrified me.  I won’t go into the details, but after a year of debating, dealing with the fear of the unknown, I moved to Spain.

In the two years I lived in Madrid, I experienced things that I’d never dreamed of.  I learned a new language, I traveled to Germany, I met a handsome Bolivian and brought him back to the US where we got married.  I even learned how to dance.  Each experience is one that I treasure, and the person that I became is who I am today. 

Castle Manzanares El Real

Symbol of Madrid


As a writer, I search for those moments that take my characters out of their comfort levels.  I want them to struggle, to learn, and to grow.  Because ultimately, that’s the story that I would want to read. 

How about you?  Have there been moments when you stepped out of your comfort zone and experienced something new?