Every day we have a choice of gaining knowledge in areas we may otherwise be less familiar with or staying where we are. Are you one to seek growth opportunities, or do you like to remain in the comfort of "homeostasis" - where you have always been? I think we all have a basic instinct to remain where we have always been, because our bodies, minds, and physiology knows that we have survived, and continue to survive there. But I like to believe that nothing good or worth having will come in our comfort zones.
This week I traveled alone to a research conference - the first time I've done this in my career without being an actual presenter. I've met some incredible scientists and connected with even more incredible people that have turned into friends along my career path. If I hadn't taken the chance to attend this conference "alone," I wouldn't be where I am right now:
- I've shared my perspective on public health issues to people who may have otherwise never have heard such a perspective
- I've reconnected with previous colleagues
- I've supported a friend who presented some outstanding scientific research
- I've heard how certain issues in society today are viewed by those who are most affected, and I've grown an understanding of social and racial justice that I hadn't had before
- And I'm a mom of 3 small kids at home and 1 in college...so let's face it, I was able to get a full night of uninterrupted sleep!