Column: we live on a floating rock

Kate Stiens introduces her new column


Kate Stiens

Living with no regrets makes life more enjoyable. Get out of your comfort zone.

As I recently figured out, “YOLO” stands for “you only live once” (I thought it was just some term teens used randomly… I am guilty of using it randomly).  One interpretation of the phrase means: stop caring about what others think and do your own thing, because as “YOLO” says, you only live once.

Sometimes I feel like I am a boring person. Thoughts run through my head all the time contradicting each other. Am I interesting? Should I be spending all my time doing homework, practicing skills I am never going to use? Will homework or fun things benefit my future more?

I have decided that fun is more important. No question about it. I am not going to be 90 years old (yes, I am planning on living until 90)  sitting in a recliner chair watching reboots of my favorite TV shows with a pizza on my lap and saying, “man, remember that time I spent three hours on a chemistry project?” I would rather look back on my life with no regrets and have lots of memories to laugh at (hoping my brain is still top notch at remembering things).

I am definitely not going to stop trying in school, I don’t think I would allow myself to do that, but coming from someone who has spent their whole life doing every single assignment, I am going to start thinking differently. 

Yeah, school is important, but if you look at the bigger picture, what do you want to make of your life? 

As a teen who too frequently watches TikTok, I see many videos that start with a person, and zoom out into the galaxy. It really puts life into perspective. We live on a floating rock in space. 

My goal for accomplishing the concept of a “good life” is to do activities out of my comfort zone. I really see no point in just sitting at home all day, every day looking back on it and saying, “what if?” 

What if what? What if you had the confidence to do that thing you have always wanted to do? What if you had the bravery? That is my point exactly. You will never gain confidence if you don’t do things out of your comfort zone. When you increase your comfort zone, you become comfortable with having confidence and being brave.

Not that long ago, I had no confidence.  I was terrified of  judgement. But now I just keep thinking to myself, if you believe in yourself and have the confidence to do something, people won’t judge, they will be blown away. People will wish they had your confidence.

There are so many opportunities we are given to do things that seem impossible or scary. Most of the time we don’t even consider doing them, but some people do. When I see others do things with confidence, it inspires me. 

People who volunteer for a task. People who wear bold outfits. People who start conversations with people they don’t know. These are my favorite kinds of people.

I would consider myself a bit of a shy person. I am definitely not an extrovert, but I would not consider myself an introvert. That being said, one of my goals for getting myself out of my comfort zone is to talk to more people that I don’t know. It can be as simple as that.

In this column I’ll be writing about my journey of doing things outside of my comfort zone, increasing confidence, and looking at the world through a greater perspective.

Do this with me. Do small tasks each day to get out of your comfort zone. It can be as small as having a conversation with a stranger or trying a new food that you have always wanted to. 

Start doing things you want to. So what if people judge? They are probably just jealous of how awesome you are. Because in five years, where do you want to be? Still fearing people’s judgement? As I said, we live on a floating rock in space, so nothing really matters.

I believe in you. YOLO.