Unboxable: the inability to place or keep anything in a confined space because said item will never fit a mold, or be constrained by standards; the item isn’t static, so even in moments when we think it fits, it moves and grows, creeping out.
Unboxable because a no set space can contain a moving, shifting, and growing, dynamic object.
Or, in the case of life, people.
Or, in my case, me. And I have to remind myself daily.
I have never fit in. Ever. Not as a child. Not in school. Not in my work. Not in my life pursuits.
After 42 years on this planet, I’ve learned to embrace it…I’ve learned to lean into it…I’ve learned to stand on it. I’ve learned to LOVE the premise.
I will not be confined.
I will not be defined.
Transparency of my whole self and my whole story refreshes and frees me. To be me. To be the me I want to be for myself. To be the me that I want to be for everyone around me.
Boxes denote complacency. Boxes can be easily stacked, sorted, and are, often, made to look non-descript. Boxes hide valuable contents on the inside. Boxes usually end up stored away.
That will never be my life. That should never be YOUR life.
Life isn’t about being contained. Life is about ongoing growth. Life is about discovering your uniqueness. Life is realizing that none of us are standard.
All of our flaws and all of our strengths make up our humanity. Humanity is what ties us together. It’s the foundation for encouragement and hope. They’re the points of relation that give other lives both solace and hope.
The notion of unboxable is counter-cultural. Businesses and organizations categorize people to appeal to customers and understand/capitalize on behaviors. And as humans with the world at our fingertips, we try to categorize ourselves (and friends!) to deepen understanding (I’m right there with you – an INFP empathy with crazy-relational strengths (according to Gallup), I relate to that desire to understand!).
I believe, learning and understanding is good and healthy. But using definitions or job descriptions, or a list of who we think we are (or who we are not!) to define the borders of what we think we can DO or BE inhibits our impact on the world.
Put the boxes in their proper places – out of our lives. Smash them, burn them, recycle them, kick them out of the way.
Let’s keep ourselves out of boxes – ourselves and those around us. Better yet, let’s unwrap them and open them and share what is inside with the rest of this earth. Because that is what is truly beautiful.
Ironic, really. As a lover of words, one of my favorite words isn’t even a real word. But it’s one that dwells in the core of my being. A reminder. A light. A guide. The crux of my being.
Almost exactly nine years ago (04/19/09), Unboxable was the name of my very first post on a now-archived blog. The word resonates with me. It's meaningful to me. And it's a reminder to me to begin that writing journey again. Over time, I'll post some of those old, archived blogs.