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Comfort Is Killing Us

I. Get off. On challenge.

I don’t think it’s comfort that I crave.

Comfort is what I want to escape.

Comfort for the sake of comfort was never my value.

Comfort in the face of extremes?

When comfort is a given, homeostasis is a given. There’s nothing to work toward.

I don’t practice escapism because life is hard. I practice escapism because modern life is too easy.

My ancient ancestors never had the luxury of living a life so far removed from death that survival was an afterthought. They were hardwired for survival. Comfort felt like cheating death.

I too am hardwired for survival. But comfort no longer feels like cheating death. It feels like cheating myself.

Cheating myself out of playing the game of life.

So I subconsciously try to recreate survival threats.

I do it subconsciously because to actually choose to risk my life would be crazy.

My ancient tribemates would have left me for dead or killed me themselves if I went thrill seeking with sabre-toothed tigers one too many times.

But humankind has evolved past sabre-toothed tigers.

Humankind has evolved past every threat except the one we pose to ourselves.

We have become paper tigers, bereft of purpose.

Deprived of our most fundamental drive.

The drive to survive.

We find new ways to die.

1 comment… add one
  • Josh Billings

    Context In The Comments:

    Yesterday I moved.

    20 hrs of labor from 6am-2am. On 3 hrs of sleep and 70oz of iced coffee.

    Driven the entire time.

    Not to survive. But to get back to comfort.

    But this time there was a twist.

    The person I moved in with has OCD.

    And instead of fighting it by placing the challenge on him to conform to “normal” expectations, I decided to put the challenge on myself to treat his OCD with the same respect that I would treat someone else’s PTSD. Knowing that the sometimes extreme nature of OCD might call for extreme acceptance.

    So when I woke up at 6:43am…

    Experiencing the 66° airconditioned temperatures I’d been forewarned about (I thought my old roommate was extreme sleeping at 69°)…

    While also having agreed to honor quiet time until 10:30am…

    Unable to unpack my car or do much of anything else because he sleeps with his door open so his cat can get in and out…

    I felt… oddly invigorated.

    As I explored the sensation I realized there was a sense of challenge in the air. And it was fueling me in a way living with a more “reasonable” person never could.

    The George Bernard Shaw quote came to mind:

    “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”

    And I wondered how much I’ve handicapped myself by choosing reason over challenge.

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