I’ve been learning that the world likes to compartmentalise everything. We’re taught from infancy that everything has its own place. Pack your toys in the box, put your shoes outside (I can’t really argue with the brilliancy of that one). Don’t talk back to adults, speak up more in class; make friends with other people. Then we’re told to go to school for the next 16 years, get good grades, go and work in a socially acceptable field for the next 40 years. Get married; buy a house; save for retirement and then everyone seems to run out of compartments at this point.
I’ll admit I was on my own merry journey of compartmentalisation, and it was an obliviously jolly one up to a point. I tried (albeit unsuccessfully) to perfectly succumb to society’s expectations of me, all the while thinking the rules were my own. I thought I was paving my own path, a fearless daughter of the 21st century, the world was mine for the taking, I was on the steering wheel of my journey and there was no stopping me.
I’m not one to argue with compartmentalisation or even rules. In fact I’ll go as far as saying that they are a good yardstick in life and they certainly have their place. As I’ve grown into adulthood, I’ve realised that we can’t compartmentalise people. This is because we are not store bought products that fit perfectly in boxes. Unless of course you believe you are; in which case this article probably isn’t for you.
A big lesson has been that any “high” that we can possibly get from achieving a goal is a beautifully bitter one. Mountain tops lead you back down to where you started, even lower if you take the wrong trail, and it’s the same with following society’s perceptions of what your life should look like.
What an addictive cycle. What I didn’t consciously realise then was that we don’t get brownie points for being a perfect society mould. Even more crazily, we can never get brownie points if there was ever such a thing as that, because nobody can be a mould. We are uniquely designed creatures created with love and care and very unique personalities and ideas. Because of that we can never fit into the “one size fit all” box that society longs to put us in.
I for one want to shout from the rooftops, “don’t put me in the box”. I happen to know a very good creator who likes you as you are with all your rough edges sticking out. As for me I want to apply this to all areas of my life, from my career to the way I interact with others.
What do you think; I would love to hear your views?