4 thoughts about NOT living a conventional life

Ronna Detrick
6 min readMar 16, 2022

Why Discomfort, Unpredictability, and Breaking the Rules Matters

Photo by David Orlando Us De Paz on Unsplash

“Most of us live conventional lives. We want to avoid the discomforts that arise from complications. But the full, creative life must be open to unpredictability. Jewish wisdom urges us to open our eyes to the possibility of change, even to the need to break a rule. Sometimes the only way to grow is to take a bite of the apple.” ~ Rabbi Irwin Kula

Fantastic. Powerful. And true.

Here’s where we’re headed:

  1. a conventional life = avoiding discomfort
  2. a full, creative life = unpredictability
  3. change = breaking a rule (or two)
  4. growth = taking a bite of the apple


1. a conventional life = avoiding discomfort

I’m pretty committed to avoiding discomfort. It’s not what I prefer. I certainly don’t seek it out. And it never turns up on my short list when I’m considering a “word of the year.” Still, I cannot disagree with what he asserts.

When I look back at my own life, my adamant demand of avoiding discomfort (for myself and for others) has caused me to choose what is generally done or believed — at the expense of my intuition, my wisdom, my very heart. The opposite has also been true: when I have listened to my intuition, trusted my wisdom, and followed my heart it has always been outside of convention, incredibly uncomfortable, and most-definitely (ultimately) worth it.

How about for you?

  • What stories come to mind? Where, when, and with whom have you diligently worked to sustain comfort (your own and/or others’), maintain the status quo, avoid discomfort and choose convention?
  • Think about your own experiences of being uncomfortable. Are they also the places in which you’ve gone against the grain, done what’s unexpected, and (hopefully) chosen what’s best for you instead of what everyone else wanted from/for you? What does that invite you to consider?

Instead of resisting discomfort, how might we welcome it? Could we learn to see “complications” as a form of

Ronna Detrick

I work and write on behalf of women and their re-visioned stories. These days you can find me on Substack.