Last night I took Vince to a new parkfor a walk. He was, of course, very excited and pulling me along faster than I wanted to go. We walked along a little grass trail and I noticed two trees growing side by side. At the base of their trunks, their branches reached out to one another like an embrace, and it formed a tiny little room. A small place, sheltered from the sun, with a dirt floor and wiry branch walls. I ducked under a limb and went in, and suddenly I was 12.

I remember riding bikes to the woods a block away from our house with my brother. We'd find little wooded cubbies and pretend we were scouting pioneers. Or that we lived on our own, sans parents. Or maybe we were military outcasts, hiding out, waiting to make our escape. We'd pretend for hours, catching salamanders as pets, and rolling roly-poly bugs around in our fingers.

It felt exhilarating to be encased in the tree-room, in the dense woods. Each root wound around to make a bench seat or a protecting gargoyle. And each day we fearlessly went further into the woods, making more discoveries.

All those memories rushed back to me last night by just being in the same kind of little tree-room. And it was still just as wonderful and beautiful as it was when I was a kid. It got me to thinking about exploring and discovering now. Sometimes, instead of being pure excitement and exhilaration, it's scary and paralyzing. We worry so much about the outcome. Will it be okay? Will I survive? And admittedly, there is a little more at stake, but I don't want to be paralyzed. I don't want to be held back by fear now, only doing the "safe" thing. I want to plow into unknown woods and feel the rush of discovery.

I want to pull myself out of my comfort zone now, discovering new things and growing. Because I personally feel like the comfort zone is even scarier than the unknown. To be bored and stagnant is a worse fate for me. To move along and learn and experience...That's what I want. So that's what I'll do.