I live inside a box, a tight imposing head space which restricts my quality of life. I limit myself, constrict myself and try to make myself as small as possible in both a physical and metaphorical sense. I have put myself in this box because I am scared of rejection, of not being good enough, of failing, so I keep parts of myself hidden to try and protect them.
In everyday life, I have to venture out of my box, so I have learned to put on various disguises and can easily get into character as a happy bubbly version of myself, but it is draining and I worry that somebody somewhere will see through the act and loudly identify me as a fraud. I say sorry when people walk into me as though I need to apologise for the fact I even exist. I always think other people are better than me, more clever than me, more worthy than me. I live in fear when I am at work that I will be discovered to be the intellectual fraud I fear myself to be, despite my two honours degrees.
Living in my box is often draining as there is little light and I take my frustrations out on the people I am closest too, the people I love and cherish the most. Sometimes I can’t bear to leave my box, it’s just too scary, so I make excuses and sit and brood in the gloom instead. I am guilty of sometimes trying to drown out the criticism I level at myself by being critical of others, being difficult to live with, demanding or bossy.
Lately, I have decided that I need to get rid of the box. It’s time to have a spring clean and put it out with the recycling. I am 36 1/2 years old and it feels like the right time. One thing I know for sure is that one day, someday, I will depart from this planet. My box won’t be any use then so I need to break free of it now while I still have the chance. That is why I have decided to make living the breadth of my life my focus – it’s time to get started on a new chapter in my life – one without the self- imposed limits, one where I will strive to realise who Me really is.
I used to believe that I was the only person who had a box, that I was the only one who thought the thoughts I think or felt the feelings I feel. Age and experience has taught me that this is not the case. There are many many many other box dwellers out there – people who limit themselves, who doubt their abilities, who are afraid of themselves. If you are one of them – I get it. It’s scary out there but maybe it’s time to recycle your box too.