|What Box Do You Put Yourself In?|
If you're like most people you wear many hats or labels, such as parent, spouse, student, child, employee and citizen. Further, you may be an artist, writer, doctor, cashier, lawyer among many other professions. These "labels" represent part of how you and others identify each other.
I feel labels in themselves are not necessarily a bad thing. They give us a sense of belonging, a way of showing achievement and can even be motivating. But what if your label begins to box you in and you stop growing? You become comfortable or feel safe right where you are.
I used to work on Wall Street for close to 20 years. This career became part of my identity. I used to be a New Yorker. This too became part of my persona. Then the events of 9/11 took place and all of a sudden I was neither. To say that being stripped of both of these identities was shattering is an understatement. You see, in my mind both my career and where I lived gave me credibility, strength, purpose, and yes, even pride.
But I was not and never will be just what I do or where I live. Neither does being Puerto Rican, a Christian, or a mother completely describe the person I am. I am all of it and none of it. I am shaped by these identities but they do not define entirely who I am as a person. As humans we are all the same but uniquely different. What a beautiful and complicated contrast.
When I place myself in an artificial box and stay there, I am limiting myself. I am not allowing for new opportunities, new experiences, new growth, new adventures and new relationships. I am stagnant.
Do not allow yourself to be stagnant.
The boxes we fall or climb into can be useful just be careful not to seal them. Nothing remains the same forever. Change is a part of life. Even long term relationships evolve over time. Be proud of the labels you own. Wear your hats with grace and style, climb in and our of your boxes, decorate those boxes but never, ever be afraid to leave them behind.
"Once the game is over the king and the pawn go back in the same box. " ~ Italian proverb