Venturing Outside My Comfort Zone

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Venturing Outside My Comfort Zone

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I moved to Ohio shortly before the pandemic hit, and quickly felt both trapped and lost when stay-at-home orders went into effect. I did not have enough time in the state to learn my way around, and actually grew somewhat agoraphobic, convinced something bad was going to happen if I left my neighborhood, which was the only place I felt familiar with. Throughout the entire summer, I rarely left the ten-mile radius around my house. As the summer ended and I recognized how fearful my life had become, I reached out to a therapist and began meeting with her virtually every couple of weeks. She encouraged me to venture out in the safest way I could, exploring the nature around me and getting more comfortable in Ohio. Autumn came and I chose one park a week, going on short walks and hikes, and I fell in love with the colors Ohio offers in the fall. Pictured here is one of my favorite adventures I’ve been on, Cuyahoga Valley National Park outside of Cleveland, where I got to see the most gorgeous fall colors. While the world is still frightening at the moment and we still have to be safe in public spaces, I was able to feel more at home here by connecting to nature.

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This item was submitted on January 31, 2021 by Julia Jensen using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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