Beyond The Box

People are always talking about thinking outside the box. It’s the catch-all phrase of the 21st century. Most of the time the box is a reference to societal norms and expectations to which most people adhere. What if the box isn’t society’s box for us, but our box for ourselves? Even more terrifying is the thought that it may be more than one box! What if, we have been clawing at the seams of the box of the world when we should be ripping the packing tape off from the inside?

With that in mind, I have decided that today is a new day and I will not let my decisions of yesterday affect it. I am a multiple box kind of person. My husband has a favorite movie in which the main character must travel through his mind as if it were a multi-floored circular library searching for a particular set of files he must hide from an invading alien. I always related to that character because so much of my memories, feelings, fears, and desires are boxed-up and stored away in different parts of my mind. When I need to focus, I close the door on some areas to prevent them from distracting me. When I have to function under duress, I close some doors to focus on the task at hand. There have been times in my life when things were so bad that I needed to close all the doors to be able to move around.

Since I have been home for a while, I ‘ve decided to do some organizing, repacking, and discarding of things I no longer need in those boxes. Slowly but surely, I’m working my way through one room and one box at a time. Some have been neglected so long; I have to blow hard at the dust before opening the lid. Others are leaking and messy or thorny and covered in razors. Some are locked, and I have to work up the nerve to open them. Others call to me to open them, but I hesitate because I know they will reduce me to a heap of skin drowning in tears. Nonetheless, it’s essential to go through every so often to see what’s there; like the way you sort your children’s clothes at each new season. Put away, give away, throw away – the piles are necessary, the follow-through essential.

I don’t know about you, but I like a grand entrance, or in this case a grand exit. Rather than slowly unwrapping each new item like my mother at Christmas trying to save the wrapping paper, I like tearing through the top and throwing it open. Everyone knows how much more exciting is it when the football team runs across the field after bursting through a gigantic paper banner. So it’s time to take my body image box, my job box, my painful memories box, my family box, my hopes & dreams box and rip the lid off. It’s time to go ham on the contents flipping, flinging, heaving, hurling, and catapulting the contents across the floor into those essential three piles. Purging the unnecessary contents, savoring the ones I need, and passing on the ones I’m finished with will make room for brighter and lighter boxes filled with positive thoughts, memories. Don’t get me wrong; I’m under no illusions. I’m sure life has more hurdles for me to jump over, but now I won’t be carrying as much as I did before.

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