A Story About Breaking The Rules

I’m born into a world being told who I am. I am a girl. I am a girl with beautiful hair. My eyes are unique; they change colors to synch my attire. I’m deep, and I’m intense. I am passionate, and, yes, I’m a little strange. My family draws a sketch of who they think I am, and they keep the colors within their lines. My teachers say I’m smart. They say I’m a natural leader; I’m quick. My first boyfriend tells me I’m pretty, that I’m worthy of romantic love. He provides me with superficial self-confidence. My friends see me in the shape of the adviser, the shoulder, the one who is there. Some of the world around me says I’m artistic, and I think differently. I live outside the status quo, I take risks, I up and move. I create an image of myself through all of my encounters, all of my life experiences, all of my dreams and fears. I draw an outline of myself and spend all my energy keeping myself within those lines.

Then one day I scribble.

Whoa. I’m out here? But, I had no clue I’d even drawn any lines; I had no idea I was keeping myself contained. “But,” I thought, “I’m strong, independent, capable of anything...” Yes, but there’s a gap between being those things and projecting an image of those things. It’s a subtle, but profound distinction. Instead of chasing an image, I can just be me- me beyond the limitations of who others think I am and who I think I am. It’s a strange thing this chase is; I’ve dizzied myself up, expended my energy on running after a manifestation of my mind, and I didn’t even know I was running.

So, I stand still for a moment and decide to walk as myself, as who I really am and not who I think I am. It’s a process, but I can see more clearly, and I’m no longer out of breath.


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