- michelle m. davis
The Other Side of the Bed
What is your favorite side of the bed? Do you have a preference, or can you sleep on
either? Since forever I’ve claimed the left side. I honestly cannot remember a time
that I didn’t. Even as a child, once I graduated from a twin bed to a full, I chose the
left half of the bed. I have no idea what started this predilection. Maybe it’s because
I’m right handed and this position facilitated me accessing items on the nightstand.
Or perhaps I liked that side of the room better. Regardless of the reason, it’s
something that I’ve always done. Not only was it that way in every place I’ve called
“home,” but also I naturally took the left side wherever I stayed.
Last weekend when my husband and I set up our bedroom (we just moved!),
surprisingly I gravitated to the right side of the bed. This decision confused me. The
right side of the bed is farther from the bathroom (a longer walk in the middle of the
night) and it’s closer to the door (God forbid an intruder would enter while we’re
sleeping), and it’s not my side. Scott, who doesn’t have a preference, was happy for
the switch, as he would be next to his dresser and closer to the bathroom. Done deal.
I figured, if I hate it, we can change, right?
After the first night sleeping miles away from my natural nesting spot, I awoke
feeling like I was where I belonged, not out of place on the wrong side. Why? I have
no idea. Was I so exhausted from moving boxes that I could have slept on the
sidewalk and not have noticed? No, I believe that it was more than being physically
spent. This felt more like a new beginning. After all, we were in a totally different
space. But could this be more than living in a new house? Might I be slowly
venturing out of my comfort zone? Isn’t that what’s been happening the past few
years? Perhaps changing sides of the bed was a symbolic milestone acknowledging
that I am capable of exploring areas I’ve avoided in the past. After all, if I could do
this with where I slept, where else could I expand?
Leaving my comfort zone has always been a challenge. I like routines and
consistency. Since I’ve been a child, this has always made me feel safe and secure.
Still, when I think about maintaining the same habits, the word “boring” comes to
mind. I’m not so sure I would have always said that. In fact, I clung to my schedule,
and when things didn’t happen on my time frame or something unpredictable would
occur, it would put me out of sorts.
But things have changed. Slowly I’m evolving, learning to let go and surrender. It’s
been a process, but like all things, this journey is totally worth it. And I’ve noticed
that I’m suddenly being presented with new opportunities and challenges I would
have formerly shied away from. While I still have quite some way to go, I’m
beginning to consider other ways and am more open to different possibilities.
Certainly I am not alone in this struggle to stay in my safe zone. Maybe you have
certain activities, habits, or routines which keep you feeling safe and secure. If so,
consider exploring the concept of stepping out of your comfort zone. Could you try
to do one thing a bit different, braving away from what you’ve always done? If so,
how does it feel? Was it unsettling, or did it make you crave more changes?
Change is always difficult, but uncomfortable changes can be downright unnerving.
Start small. Take a different route to work, order a new item at your favorite
restaurant, or say “yes” to something you would normally decline. Just like they
always told Mikey, “Try it, you’ll like it!” (Now I am really dating myself!)