you may know me well, you may know me a little, you may not know me at all. but chances are you have me in a box. a pretty little box. it’s what we do. funny, smart, athletic, loser, pretty, druggie, spiritual, nerdy, you name it there’s a box for it. and we’re pretty protective of our boxes, aren’t we? i think back over my life and how i’ve redefined some of my boxes. in high school i was never considered one of the smart girls, nor was athletic anywhere near my name in a sentence or even a paragraph. you say sweat, i say uh, makeup? fast forward a decade or two and i’ve had some interesting, you could call them offensive, emails regarding my law degree and my athletic life. a few of those former smart kids & jocks didn’t really want to let me into their territory….after all, i was just a pretty pom pon girl.
not only do others put us in boxes, but we put ourselves in them as well. it’s comfortable there. there are defined parameters. we know our role. it’s safe. what box are you in? are you the smart one; the loser? the pretty face; the athlete; the loudmouth; class clown? are you the mean girl? the pothead; over-achiever; social outcast; or social butterfly? have you noticed that once you’re in a box you start to own the characteristics of that designation? and there is little freedom to move to another box? we even protect our boxes from others as if it’s our own territory, that somehow if we let someone in it will somehow take something away from us. but we don’t necessarily even like being there! we just know it’s ours and we need to defend it.
so where do we go? how do we change our identity when our hearts are dying to grow? how do we seek freedom when we’re boxed in with no ladder to climb out? we dig in and we find the courage to be who we are in spite of the critics. because what may please them today will likely garner harsh criticism tomorrow. we find our heart’s passion and live it out loud. we take back our power to design our lives. we let others in. we allow our friends out. and if we don’t like the box that we’re in we are brave enough to leave it behind. if we’re really lucky we have at least one true friend to encourage us to grow. to be free. to move beyond the boundary of our box. or you have us. a community about that very thing. to take what we know and the experiences that make us unique and infuse them with the desires of our heart. to have the courage to dream. to be bold. to not shrink. this life is to be lived, and lived well. no second chances, no regrets.
what box are you in? kick down some walls.