Anyways, I got a little drunk and while I was drunk, I found myself sitting on the couch talking to a friend about life changes and all of a sudden the damnboxeswere there again. I was talking about them.
I couldn't stop it.
Box metaphor. Box metaphor. BOX METAPHOR.
When I woke up the next morning, un-drunk and thirsty, I remembered the boxes showing up and I laughed. I smiled. I was actually proud of myself because I think I'm finally so far out of my box that I no longer give a f*ck if getting drunk and talking about the boxes makes me look strange.
(Spoiler: I am strange)
So, you probably wanna know about the boxes now, yes? (Unless of course you're that friend from the couch and in that case you can skip ahead. YOU'RE WELCOME. KEEP CLIMBING.)
Let's rewind a few months. Early this year, I was getting lunch with an old friend/mentor I hadn't seen in years and while waiting for our table, I asked her one of the dumbest questions ever. "How are you?," I said, "How's school?"
She cocked her head to the side, grimaced, and then grinned.
"That's a complicated question," she said.*
As we sat down, she explained further. She started to unravel the transformation she's been experiencing and how it has affected her life, both good and bad (thus making the answer of "how IS life" and "how IS school" a bit... complicated.) Her transformation, or more so the way she described it, sounded eerily familiar to something I've been experiencing over the last two years. I just never had the words...
Imagine: We all live in a box. The box is cozy. You have all the basics you need in your box. You're fed. You're warm. You're comfortable.
And then one day something or someone tosses a stick into your box. A stick? Weird. You're decide to just leave that thing alone. Then someone throws in another stick, and another, and another, and eventually, you realize they all go together.
It's a ladder.
Hmm. strange. What would I need with this? I have my food, and my warmth, and my comfort... what's this ladder even for? So you go on, ignoring it.
Until, eventually, curiosity takes over and you start to climb. You're not sure why you started climbing but something happened. Something made you start making your way up that ladder. Sometime's it's a slow climb, it can take months or even years to make your way up there.
But when you, you see it.
You see an entire universe beyond your box. and it's beautiful. and terrifying. You've climbed into a vast, expansive, freeing space. While explaining this, my friend pulled up this image:
Now, something we discussed thatreally struck me as meaningful was the truth that being outside of the box isn't always easy. Like we said, you were comfortable in there but now that you're out, you can't go back. The "comfort" of you box just isn't enough anymore. One of the things that can be most difficult about leaving the box is that not everyone wants to join you. That can be hard to understand and to accept; they might not understand you and you might not understand them. And that's tough. It just is. Humans like to understand things and it's our nature to fear and dislike the things we don't understand.
Another thing that's difficult is watching others struggling to build and climb their ladder – and realizing you can't do it for them. You can try tossing some rungs in their boxes. You can try to put those pieces in their box but you can't climb inside and build their ladder for them. You can't push them up and over. It's up to them. It's up to us to decide if and when to make that climb.
It's not your responsibility to control or create anyone else's experience nor is it anyone's job to tell you about yours.
Your experience inside and outside of that box is yours.
but, if I could offer one piece of advice, I'd tell you to build the ladder.
and go after the things that are going get you to climb it.
*let's just take a moment to give a HELL YES to that answer to such a generic, blasé question. Enough of that "how are you" "Good!" *cries a little on the inside* bull-crap that we've been using to fill the void rather than acknowledge our feelings and having real conversations. More of this. More of real, please.