Most people I know and probably simply most people in this world are surrounded by the same friends their whole life. They live in the same town or city their whole life. They stay in the same subculture their whole life. They are glued to their identity and believe the world, their point of reality, is static.
But I don't believe this.
When I was a kid, I only had a few friends. I played a few games, I went to school and practised a sport. That was basically it, my world was small.
I went to high school and lost the few friends I had. I felt unhappy and depressed. But I wasn't aware of this. Looking back I lived in a haze. Then we got cable internet and I jumped straight in. I found friends online through random chats like ICQ and computer games such as Quake World Team fortress. The community was small and this became my world. I knew all their identities and they knew me. I became addicted because this world was better than my real one.
When I failed school I had to redo a year. That was a great break in hindsight as I got to meet new people. I was a year older and others would look up to me, as kids often do. I got more respect and found new friends. I started going out for the first time and eventually met my first girlfriend. Every weekend I would go out and slowly, but surely, I left the gaming world behind. I entered a new world with new friends and new adventures.
I found new people that I could connect too, they were so different from my old schoolmates. I connected better with them and I was able, unconsciously, adjusting my own identity.
Years later, I realised that my current friends are not very positive-minded and I slowly noticed I wanted to change.
Slowly and naturally I disconnected from most of my current friends and I found new ones. I entered a new world, one of positivity and who embraced me and I embraced them. I changed and my personality changed into a positive-minded-change. I was very aware of this.
After I broke up with the girlfriend at the time, I went into a working and party frenzy. I never realised I was about to break myself down and I did, I was suddenly burned out.
My mind was going into a mode of frenzy thoughts, I could be diagnosed as ADHD, but I wasn't born with any of that. It's just the way I trained my mind to be. Also existential questions needed answers now which were always in the back of my mind as a young, depressed kid.
I learned meditation and mindfulness. I learned to change my mind by talking to myself in a different way. I found answers. My thought processes changed and I started to calm down.
I realised I wanted to literally change my world and that's when I started to travel. Meeting people from everywhere. Other's would say I was trying to find myself, but for me, it didn't feel like that. I just wanted to gain new experiences as by now I was very aware of who I was already - the sum of my life experiences.
I've been travelling for almost 6 years now. On and off, but I kept changing worlds and learning new things. I had simply found a new world, the one of a "digital nomad".
The last 2 years I've been travelling together with a beautiful partner. Our worlds collided and we're changing each other every day. It's all about improvement, becoming a better person, fulfilling our dreams and spreading kindness and love.
So the moral of this story is that you can change your world. Everyone can. It can be hella scary. Everyone has these expectations, but there's only one person that can break the monotony in your life and become a better person. Ignore the expectations and throw yourself in the deep.
I'm not saying there's anything wrong with those who don't want change. Who like to stick to their identity. I had hard times, redefining myself, up to the point I didn't know who I was. But I don't want to be looking back on my life and wishing this or that. Anything you want to do, you have to do it NOW.