All these hours driving has given me a lot of time to think. Time to sit in silence, listen to “Nahko and Medicine for the People” on loop and scroll through the fifty podcasts I downloaded for this adventure. However, while I was driving along I couldn’t help but start to think of the “norm”. I am now living a life far from the norm and I started to question why there is a way things are typically done. The way things “should” be. I was thinking of our defaults.
Our defaults come from what we have learned. What we are taught, what our parents demonstrate and say and what our friends believe. Our defaults are engrained before we even realize it. We default to a certain standard of living, a certain group of people and friends, a certain routine, a certain political party, a certain way of life. This isn’t bad; this is what we know. This is what is comfortable and comfort level is real. Comfort is something we strive for. However, does this comfort shelter us from what is really out there? What would happen if we continue to nudge our comfort zone? What could we accomplish? What would happen if we start to realize our default isn’t the only way? There is more than one way to live— so how come we find a default and consider it truth?
If we push our comfort zone and start to grow away from our defaults, the only thing that happens is our comfort zone expands. Our life becomes richer. We learn more, experience more, feel more comfortable in our surroundings, accept others that are in different walks of life. We start to realize that my truth isn’t your truth and that is okay.
My default was go to school, get a house, get a job and work. Put my nose to the grindstone, keep working, stay in my career and make money. My paycheck became an easy default for my purpose. I thought I was living a purposeful life, but now when I think about it— was I? I didn’t dislike my defaults, but I have realized that I didn’t feel fulfilled. Life was nice, comfortable and people would look on and see everything as perfect and successful. However, just because perfection is perceived by others doesn’t mean it needs to be taken at face value. I am the one living and feeling each day and finally admitted that even though everything is nice, it wasn’t right.
There are many things that I have to redefine in this new path. And maybe not even redefine, but define for myself in the first place. Define what I want in life— and what I truly want and not what I think I should want. Define what my intention is. What I want my purpose to look like. Find definitions that are mine and not the societal default.
Sometimes we lead a defaulted life because we are young and haven’t developed into our own yet. We start to lead a life that isn’t ours, but when we get older and know a little more it is too difficult to get out of it. I feel very fortunate that I am at a point in my life that I could get out and escape my default. I could escape and go find my own definitions.