I’m not an adventurous person. I don’t ride roller coasters, I don’t particularly like to camp, and I never even learned to ride a bike. I like to be comfortable, and I avoid situations that will make me feel uncomfortable, even if they seem like they are also fun. 

But sometimes, being uncomfortable is essential. 

Today, (April 23rd) is national “Take a Chance” day, a day that invites us to step outside of our comfort zones. 

Here are some big examples for me: 

  • I started going to a boxing gym a few years ago. Although it has been uncomfortable (both physically and mentally), it has been tremendously beneficial to my feeling comfortable in my body. 
  • I started therapy last fall. 
  • I accepted the Programs Coordinator position here at JCLS last summer, which felt super out of my league, but it has become a more comfortable position for me. 

But you don’t have to take a big chance. I promise you don’t have to step into a boxing ring, unload your feelings to a stranger, or start a brand-new job to experience growth. 

Sometimes, being uncomfortable is reading outside of your preferred genre, or learning something new.  The library can help with both of those things.  

I’ve stepped outside of my reading comfort zone a few times. I recently read Legends & Lattes because of its popularity and the hype around it—and found out that it wasn’t for me. But last year, I also readWhalefall, which is a book that, just based on its synopsis, I wouldn’t be in a hurry to pick up, and it was my favorite book of 2023. 

Have you wanted to take a stab at writing something? Have you wanted to try out a tabletop role-playing game? More broadly, have you wanted to try out a new craft or maybe just learn about something you know nothing about? 

Maybe taking a chance for you would be hanging out in a room with people you don’t know while you drink coffee, do crossword puzzles, and chat. 

All these things (and more) can be done for free at the library.   

I’m inviting you today (and every day) to take a chance with the library and attend one of our many programs.   

If it’s helpful to know a little inside baseball about programming here at JCLS, we do themed programming—which means that much of our programming follows a specific theme each quarter.  And if you want to dig even deeper into how we do programming – I encourage you to read this post: The Process of Programming – Jackson County Library District (jcls.org) 

For spring, you may have noticed that a lot of our programming is STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) based – which is excellent for people who may not *think* that science is their thing and may want to take a chance with one of those programs. (I tried the molecular gastronomy one, and it was super fun and exciting, even though I thought it would be way over my head.) 

One of the cool things about my job is that I get to see all of the programs that are coming, and I can tell you that in the summer, we have a lot of programming around “renewal,” both in terms of environmental renewal and self-renewal, which makes it a great time to take a chance. So, keep an eye out for the Summer Event Guide to check those out. 

So, if you would like to take a chance – get out of your comfort zone – and try something new, you can find tons of options on our events page here