Yup, that’s right.
You know, when people ask “How are you”? I don’t say “Uncomfortable, thanks for asking” because most of the time people aren’t really asking you how you are. It’s a greeting. But, how am I, really?
How so, Bob?
I’m glad you asked.
I’m uncomfortable with living in quarantine. It’s been about 12 weeks, and I’m still uncomfortable with staying indoors and not seeing my friends, not going to the movies or the gym, trying to make do with what I have at home. Uncomfortable with wearing a mask everywhere, and now that the rules are changing , uncomfortable with where we have to wear, where we don’t , if someone else is wearing them is it rude not to, if there are kids or older folks involved should we anyway? Social distancing, hand washing, don’t touch your face, don’t get together in groups….
I’m uncomfortable with having a job which was almost exclusively a “people” job, all about eye contact and handshakes and hugs and building relationships, all of which are now taboo. Learning more computer and tech-related information than I ever thought I would need to know, while still feeling like I am WAY behind the curve. Not seeing my co-workers except through a small screen. Uncomfortable with finding out how much I don’t know and how limited my knowledge of virtual communication is…
See, when I used to think of uncomfortable, I thought of a guy going out with his former girlfriend on the day before Valentine’s Day without telling his current girlfriend. Taking her to a restaurant and seeing a local flower-seller going from table to table, followed by a local television crew. Seeing that no one was buying a flower and deciding to do them a favor by purchasing one. Then knowing that the perfect “button” for the TV crew would be to give the rose to the girl and giving her a kiss. And his current girlfriend watching all this, with her parents, on the 11:00 o’clock news. The conversation that followed, with the current girlfriend, THAT was my idea of uncomfortable….
….but I digress…
I’m uncomfortable with the fact that I have friends in the African-American community and have listened to their stories and (sort of) understand their perspective. I have friends and family in the law enforcement community, have listened to their stories and (sort of) understand their perspective. I’m uncomfortable with being expected to take sides. I want to consider each issue on it’s merits, listen to discussion and make my own choices. I fear that discussion doesn’t happen, that it’s 2 absolute, opposing sides yelling slogans at each other and not listening. I am uncomfortable with being labeled because of not wholly aligning on either side.
Uncomfortable might be good. Change is always uncomfortable.
Your first bike ride.
Your first kiss.
Your first, well…
Maybe that lack of comfort means that change is happening.
Maybe growth is happening.
All of the unrest, all of the dissent, all of the protest.
Maybe those uncomfortable situations are harbingers ( yes harbingers) of positive change. Maybe being uncomfortable is a pretty good place to be . Maybe the trick is to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
I’m hoping that the payoff is real, positive change.
I take comfort in that.
P.S. The picture is a teaser for another project that we did several years ago and may be offering again, given recent events.