Challenging the Bubble

We all live in a bubble of our design… OK, maybe that is just another glittering generality, but I both love and understand the dangers of grouping too many people into too broad a brush stroke.  So, where to go with this bubble metaphor. There are so many directions to choose from, but I think the primary theme for this morning as I wake up in a hostel in D.C. (Diplomatic Stay – if you ever have a chance to stay here, you really should, just for the experience of it), the theme I am going for is “challenging the bubble.”  I am not saying that we should walk around bubble-less (although that could be interesting), but  have come to realize that there is a time and a place for a bubble.  I need to challenge my bubble every now and then in order to learn and grow; use it more like a cocoon, and when I break free of it, with any luck I will have undergone some form of metamorphosis that puts me in a better place.

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But it doesn’t quite work like that traditionally. Normally, our species uses the bubble to keep things the same – to generate predictability.  We create super strong bubbles;  the thought of breaking them invokes incredible fear and anger. OK, I understand the intent of these bubbles is to protect us, to keep things the same so that we aren’t overloaded by constant unpredictability…but there’s something else I have come to understand about our species: we love our sugars and fats.  Stick with me here (pun intended), but living purely on sugars and fats is generally (yay) considered unhealthy…a diet should be balanced, and contain many different forms of nutrients. So basically, some of the patterns that our species has used for thousands of years have morphed into the same patterns that hold us back today – that keep us from realizing our potential.

That’s how it is for me and my bubble today. I was living in my bubble, and I was fairly miserable there, but it was safe and predictable.  Then the place where I was renting was sold, and the new place I was moving to was not available.  I had no place to stay, so I was forced to challenge my bubble.  I ended up in a hostel. I have met people from all over the world. I also ate Taco Bell for dinner, and in the middle of one of the worst dreams ever, I woke myself up with this huge fart.  So, I am sure I also broke many other people’s bubbles, too…muhaha!

Anyway, I feel like the hostel experience has changed me, in a good way.  So there has been this progression of recent events that has introduced significant change into my life, and each time I undertake one of these experiences my choice is to either “keep it comfy” or “try something different.”  I have really been pushing the envelope – trying different paths, challenging my bubble – and I think it is working.  I think this pattern is making me a stronger, more resilient participant in life…maybe? I’ve scared off a couple people, which is regrettable, but as I progress I expect many people who rely on my fitting a certain mold or being a certain way, are going to have a similar choice: they can accept me for who I am, or let me go.  Not that I am shedding my responsibilities or attempting to invalidate the whole of my core, but I am done letting fear define me (or at least trying not to let it define me), and I am done letting the fear of losing the comfortably unhealthy or stagnant relationships around me stop me from living life to my personal fullest.

What does all that mean? To what end am I traveling? That’s another chapter for another day.  I do have some ideas – approaches to sort through, concepts to prioritize…but I will leave you with a quote.  My dad sent me an email, and it was very funny, but at the end was just one serious quote, attributed to Plato.  Plato lived about 2,400 years ago and I am thinking this quote has something to do with the direction I am going next in life:

“One of the penalties of refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.” -Plato

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