I’m not sure. I’ve been giving this some thought, and I wonder.
I hear it all the time. You need to think outside the box. Or, she is living way outside the box. Or, let’s think outside the box for a minute and see what we come up with.
This appeals to me.
I don’t like to think of myself as a box-living person. Box-living people make me think of sheep. Of mindlessness. Of institutionalism.
And, in fact, there are some boxes I refuse to spend time in.
But, leaving a box usually just means joining another one. It’s pretty hard to hang out in the world without some kind of a box in which to live and share and grow.
An example. I homeschool my children. I left the educational institution box years ago. But, in fact, didn’t I just change boxes? Am I not now associated with the homeschool box? Whether I choose to use text books or no books or only books written before 1900 when, some would say, all things literary went to crap – isn’t it just another box?
I’m thinking, instead, that I am going to try to be okay with the box. I was born into a family, raised a certain way, attended a certain church, lived in a certain location, went to a certain school. And because of all of these variables, I became a certain person.
This is the box I am rooted in. I can’t change it, and in fact I wouldn’t want to.
But growth and change and life all happen through the years, and the box, well, it can be a prison or it can be a foundation. I can choose.
I want to accept my roots (and the soil in which they were planted, good and bad) with gratitude, for they continue to nourish me. I want to stretch toward the sun. I want to allow the amazing gardener, you know who I mean, to take care of the big things I can’t control.
I just want to bloom, in whichever box he puts me. With all the other plants.
It can be a beautiful box.