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  • 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!)

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