Part of my goal in life is to be undefinable. I’ve spent the last few years, annihilating the person I thought I was or rather, the person I am ‘supposed’ to be. Ive become aware of some of my fears, and I’ve pushed (push) beyond them. Beyond my self imposed impossibilities and comfort zones. One of my biggest fears is existence. To go through life and notions. To not experience it. To be present for it’s magic, challenges, losses, gifts, lessons, blessings. That I won’t feel it. That I won’t embrace it. I’m terrified of not living my potential.
I am also afraid of boxes. No I don’t mean corrugated cardboard boxes, but in being labeled and defined into a neat box. As if you could look me up in a dictionary and there would be a nice, tidy, proper explanation of me. It makes me feel anxious and claustrophobic just thinking about it.For in the box there are no changes. No growth. No surprises. No spontaneity. There are limitations, rules, and standards. Standards to live up to, to abide by. There is no flexibility, it makes my neck stiff just thinking about it. I don’t want to confine myself to a box. I want to live beyond it. I want people to struggle for adjectives to describe me, before settling on she’s just Brittany.
As I watched Fault in Our Stars recently I found myself bawling for so many reasons. Part was when Gus asked Hazel her story. When she went to repeat herself, he said, no not your cancer story, but YOUR story.
A few months ago when I was reading my water meters, I stopped at a home where a beautiful women was outside on a hot summer day, playing in a sprinkler with her sons. I was stopped by her laugh. Her joyous laugh and smile, as she was consumed and caught up in play. As she approached me, she kept repeatedly apologizing for not having a wig or hat on. She’d just gone through chemotherapy. I insisted she looked beautiful and radiant (because she was). She still apologized.
And so this incidence, along with the movie have stuck with me as I ponder how we define ourselves. So often we define (limit) ourselves in the physical realm. We relate our worth with our bodies. With our weight. With our material possessions. We obsess over body image. As above, we may associate ourselves with our illnesses. With disease. We associate our wealth with how much money we have. How many toys we can collect. By the car we drive. By our homes. By the way we dress. By our hot spouse and partners. We use our pasts to define ourselves. We let our failures keep resurfacing. Or we ride the coat tails of our successes as long as we can. We define ourselves by our jobs.
This seems so limiting to me. Are we not more? Can we not become more? Is there not more going on below the surface? Why do we offer the world a prettily wrapped, un-openned version of ourselves. Where’s the depth? The meaning? The passion? The purpose? The vulnerability? Where is the person? As we grow, as we change, as we evolve, who do we become? How can we stay in a box over a lifetime? Are there not deeper dreams under our day dreams? Are there not more feelings under than the surface than the ‘happy’ face we present to the world? Why not define life for ourselves?
And so to me I want life. I want the gritty, raw, honest, heart-open, soulful, passionate, purposeful, loving, magical life. One without limitations. One that changes. One that ebbs and flows. One that evolves. One that pushes me, that challenges me. One I can grow in. I want an exposed life. One where I always present myself. Not the version of myself, that I think the world wants. I want to live from my soul. I’m a soul, with a body. A possibility, bottomless soul, capable of so, so much.
So what is your story?
Your dreams. Your passions. What fills you up?