December 31, 2020

Comfortable with Uncomfortable

adventure, Places, travel

Comfortable with Uncomfortable

I first saw the phrase “Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.” last winter at the gym. I like motivational statements and this one resonated with me. But now, looking back on 2020, the quote means and feels something quite different. Sometimes being uncomfortable is unavoidable. We don’t choose it, it just happens. 

I found something in my travels this year that visually sums up the statement.

In the middle of somewhere Nevada, along the Extraterrestrial Highway, there is a thing called The Black Mailbox. I went there this fall to document it as part of a project I was shooting for the local tourism organization. I was excited to check it out. I enjoy cult-like things on road trips… my on-going compilation of Americana snapshots. 

The contents of the mailbox were interesting. Chicken wings, Trump stickers, cheese and crackers, and a fresh maxi pad, among other things. There were other random artifacts strewn about the post of the mailbox — Barbies, unsmoked cigarettes, and a pink rabbit’s foot. It wasn’t at all what I expected, even though I didn’t really know what to expect. It looked and felt uncomfortable - exactly what 2020 has been. It wasn’t pretty but it was memorable. There wasn’t a way to make it look better or feel right. And yet, somehow, I managed to find a way to be comfortable with it.

So long 2020 and hello 2021. I’m ready for whatever.