Excuse Me—Is My Comfort Zone Showing?

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Sometimes you have to get out of your comfort zone.

Try something new.

Dare to embark on a new adventure—a journey to where you’ve never been before.

Like my blogger friend, Kathy (Reinventing the Event Horizon), who sold her home, packed her bags and, together with her partner, Sara, headed to Ecuador for an indefinite stay.

Though getting out of your comfort zone doesn’t have to be such a huge undertaking. Take me. A couple of weeks ago, after returning from my daughter’s graduation, among the voicemails awaiting me at the office was one from Lydia, a woman in charge of education at the California Center for the Performing Arts Museum.

Lydia’s message mentioned a new exhibit they have, now through July 28th, titled, Art Illustrated: Celebrating Comic Art. I had already heard about it and wondered what she could want. So, I returned her call and learned that the museum was hosting a panel discussion on comic art, and how they were in need of a moderator for the panel. As I listened, I assumed she was going to ask me if one of the reporters from my station would be available.

But, that’s not what she asked.

Lydia asked me if I could do it.

Wait. Did she just ask me??

Yes she did, and she didn’t seem to care that I had NEVER moderated a panel before. All Lydia knew was that someone had recommended me.

Wait. Did she just imply that they had a discussion and my name came up as a candidate for moderating a panel on comic art??

Wow.

The idea of moderating a discussion on a topic I know little about terrified me—and excited me all at once. After all, I grew up reading the Sunday funnies and comic books and still have a weakness for Blondie and Archie and the gang.  Plus, I was a big fan and peruser of Mad Magazine. Though, what Baby Boomer isn’t?

As I tossed the idea  around in my head, I kept thinking how I love my safe and secure comfort zone. It protects me from crazy stuff like going bungee jumping, pole vaulting, scaling tall buildings in a single bound, or engaging an audience for two hours by moderating a conversation on cartoons. Sheesh. What questions would I ask?

But the idea really made me feel exhilarated. So, after a lot of deliberation, and asking our reporter, who actually has a keen knowledge of comics and has covered Comic Con for my station (she declined, as she is very busy preparing for Comic Con, which is next weekend), I said yes!

And, so I opened the door and took a flying leap out of my comfort zone.

Ta-dah!

I visited the art exhibit at the museum and got a personal tour from Lydia, who assumed I knew what I was doing. We talked and talked and she gave me background info on the exhibit and the expert panelists, who include the following:

Steve Breen, Pulitzer-prize winning Political Cartoonist
Brad Constantine, Video Game Animator for Sony
Greg Evans, Cartoonist and creator of “Luann”
Jeff Keane, Comic Artist of “Family Circus”
Jim Whiting, Magazine and Newspaper Cartoonist

If you ask me, looks like tonight I’m going to be talking with the nobility of the comic industry!

Now, when was the last time you got out of your comfort zone?