It’s been a while since I’ve written, and it feels a bit strange to be tapping away at the keyboard again, but I want to make sure that this blog stays relevant and updated as much as possible–and plus, I know that you guys must miss me terribly. ;o)
There are so many things that I could discuss right now, but something that has been on my mind today has been the concept of staying inside the box–coloring inside the lines–following the recipe exactly. No matter how you say it, the concept of keeping up with society’s expectations has forever been a a sticking point with free spirits and a never-ending hamster wheel for devotees.
Yes, as I have realized the past couple of weeks, sometimes it’s not society’s expectations that are keeping you prisoner, but your own.
For example, I never felt like I had pressures on me to go to college or get a high-paying career from anyone around me (which obviously worked as I chose teaching as my profession–the big bucks called me). However, now that I have chosen my career, I simply cannot see myself doing anything else. Not just because I love my job (which I do–most of the time), but because the thought of trying something new is legitimately terrifying.
A couple of weeks ago, I tagged along with a friend to a meeting with a big time producer about a movie that he wants to have created. I was introduced as his assistant, and I turned out to be the person the producer talked to the most, giving notes and pointers, and calling me the “MVP” since I was so organized and on top of it (shameless self-promotion).
That experience made me think–I could be damn good at producing. Or at event planning. Or at representing people. Or any other myriad of careers where organization and communication skills and not being an asshole allow you to shine.
The point is, I have simply never allowed myself to think about other career options because I had stuck myself in a teacher box. I went to school for education, therefore I must stay in education, and I couldn’t possibly do anything other than teach children. Yet I am the only one who is keeping me in that realm of thought.
A second example of this is also fairly recent; I used to go the to gym faithfully, after school, at least 4 days a week. The past three months I have stepped in the gym perhaps four times, focusing instead on going on runs or walks. I have been enjoying this immensely. Yet there is a part of me that is insisting that I return to my previous habits, as I am a GYM PERSON. I don’t do endless amounts of cardio-I am a WEIGHTLIFTER!
Again, however, this is only me talking to me. No one else gives a shit (pardon my french) whether I lift weights once a day or once a month. And perhaps it IS time to switch up my routine–change is always good for the soul.
Sometimes, the things that we tell ourselves that define us are good things, such as being a caring person, or a good friend, or a responsible adult. But if we have a part of ourselves that could possibly be changed or opened up to new and exciting possibilities, don’t keep that experience from yourself simply because you have erected the cardboard walls around you all on your own. Boxes have their moment of usefulness, but they certainly shouldn’t stay around after that moment has passed.
For me, one area that I have been stubbornly seeing cardboard on is this blog. I have a pattern that I follow: publish once a week, make sure that the posts are around 1000 words, and make sure that it always includes a life lesson.
However…it’s been 2 1/2 weeks since my last post, and no one has died…no one has commented about it….no one really seems to care. And the 1000 word goal is only a goal in my head; everyone else would probably be happier, honestly, if I wrote less so they could read it faster. And as far as the life lesson? I still like that aspect of my writing but would anyone really care if I peppered in a humorous piece here or there? Or practiced my fiction skills with a short story? Or simply vented about my day?
This is my blog, but it doesn’t need to fit into a box. And with that declaration, I am going to stop writing with only (gasp!) 800 something words on the page, and I’m going to tell myself that it’s alright.
What about you? What boxes can you break today? Grab that hammer and go to town–I promise you, not only is it not as scary as you always imagined, but it’s completely liberating. You got this!