Braids: My Own Security Blanket

Courtney - Pasadena, California
Entered on February 16, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

Everyone has her own “comfort zone.” Some people choose to defy it all the time; they are the ones who jump off bridges for fun. I believe that everybody should step out of her comfort zone every once in a while.

Who knew that braids and shorts would ever get old? In first through sixth grades, I for one, did not. In kindergarten, my mom used to doll me up for school everyday. Then, in first grade, I got an opinion. My mom wanted me to wear pigtails one day. There was no way that I was going to sport Pippy Longstocking’s signature attribute. But, I went grudgingly. I was so surprised to find that I actually like them! I asked for them the next day, and it rolled on from there. Only wearing a skirt for picture day for the next five years, I now had a signature attribute myself. I now was called “pigtails” bye Mr. Mejia, and really didn’t mind.

By now, my mom and friends wanted a change, but I got too used to them. Then everything changed in the blink of an eye. On the first day of junior high, I was convinced by a group of friends to wear my hair down. Drastic, I know, but for me it was a huge step…way out of my comfort zone.

By letting my hair down, I felt like I had a big weight left on my shoulders, in more than one way. In order to make a change, a step is needed. At first I felt that not wearing pigtails would not last. But once again I was wrong. I learned that standing on the outside your set zone is not comforting (hence the name.) But while standing outside that bubble, it is very important to have support. If my friends had been saying that they liked braids better on me, I definitely would have swung back to my regular routine. When a person is unstable about an event, they are very unsure and susceptible to others opinions. I thank my friends for being supportive about my choice and staying with me the whole time.

David Cook took a smaller step out of his comfort zone. He previously had been singing in a band, but he was a backup singer. Like the majority of the American Idol viewers, he and his brothers were always in the comfort of their own home. Then David lost a game of poker. Instead of paying up, David had to audition in front of Simon, Randy, and Paula. After making it to the top and becoming extremely successful, he can owe it to his ability to step out of his comfort zone.

Just because you step out of your comfort zone, it doesn’t mean that you will become famous. It just allows you to live on the edge rather than in the sheltered life many of us are used to. Braids were like a security blanket to me. When they weren’t lying on my shoulders in junior high, I felt vulnerable. But, in a way, that helped me. I learned to be more confident and relaxed about how I look today.

A comfort zone is only the minimum of what is expected. Defy it. Take steps little by little. I don’t know what little “stunt” I will do next. Maybe I will take a chance or even wear some flashy shirt to the dance. Whatever I do, I know it will benefit me in the end.