Taking a Step out of Your Comfort Zone
Published: Friday, October 11, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, October 9, 2013 21:10
Not many people have a month dedicated to them, but I do. This past July was designated “Month of Mary “by my friend Pat Fogerty (SFS ’14). We came up with the challenge while celebrating a birthday at The Tombs around 1 a.m. on a Monday. I don’t recall how the idea emerged but, by the end of the night, the month already had its own hashtag (#MoM).
What do you do with an entire month dedicated to you? Do you receive presents? Do people give you compliments everyday? Neither of us knew, but I wanted to believe gifts and praise would be involved. Pat, on the other hand, wanted these 31 days to be about going outside of my comfort zone. He wanted me to grow as an individual, but he also wanted me to focus on my relationships with the opposite sex. Unfortunately, my life does not resemble a romantic comedy starring Kate Hudson, and the best I could do was go on a Grouper date with a guy who thought that Dublin was located in Germany. It wasn’t a total loss, though, because we both discovered that we like drinking water and absolutely adore breathing.
While we did see eye-to-eye on basic needs, nothing came out of this geographically challenged date, which happened at the end of my month. Seeing potential in me, Pat was kind enough to grant me an extension in the form of “Month of Mary, Part II: Rise of the Burgoyne.” Now, I really had to deliver. August was the time to make love happen in my life.
For some reason, I thought I could find that guy at the Black Cat’s weekly “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” happy hour that takes place on Saturday evenings during the summer. I should have left when the episode they were viewing was from my least favorite season, but as a true “Buffy” fan, I, of course, stayed. And then, I really should have left when one of the four men present at this event asked me if I ever attended the “Doctor Who” happy hour on Friday nights.
As I reported back to Pat, we decided that I would require yet another extension. It would be called “Months of Mary” because, as usual, I would need more time. I feared I had wasted two months. Instead of going on dates every weekend night, there were quite a few evenings I did my own thing, which included lip syncing Janet Jackson’s entire 1989 album, Rhythm Nation 1814, eating a leftover container of ricotta cheese while watching the film Terms of Endearment and going to see the One Direction film This is Us in 3-D. While I don’t regret any of these activities, I’m sure it could have been time better spent.
I reflected on the state of my “Months.” Had I really achieved nothing? During that time, I explored D.C. and Virginia. I made multiple batches of homemade cookies lauded by my friends and family. I made two loaves of excellent challah bread, and I’m not even Jewish. Apart from my culinary success, my most important achievement was cultivating friendships with my coworkers, roommates and family members. I went on friend dates to brunch, museums and parties. I had a great time, and I didn’t have to impress anybody. I left my comfort zone and found a different kind of love.
And then it occurred to me my month is called Month of Mary, not Month of Mary and some rando. I improved myself during this personal challenge, and that’s all I really needed to do. To any person who says that I failed my month(s), you know who else isn’t really attached to anybody? George Clooney. Leonardo DiCaprio. Joseph Gordon-Levitt. James Franco. I’d say I’m in good company. #MoM
Mary Burgoyne is a senior in the College. ALMOST ADULT appears every other Friday in the guide.