What if you’re an outsider because of everything you are? Everything that you’re composed of from the crazy birthmark on your left foot, to the cellulite on your thighs, to the way you talk, the things you know, the jokes you make, the confidence you have.
I am different. I am different to the core of my essence. I am different because I was raised with the idea that spending your time doing something you hate is wasting your time on this earth. That music, beauty, poetry and art are the most important things in life. I was raised to think that I am beautiful, from my oversized ass to my oversized glasses. I was loved. I am not overcoming childhood demons. I was not poor. I am bookish, quiet at times. I am creative, too loud at others. I am smart. I am not self conscious. I hate crowds and love people. I am a contradiction and I encourage others to see the contradictions in themselves. That’s why I am unsettling.
When I walk down the street, my clothes, my walk, my colors, my glasses, my confidence, remind people that there is so much more than their narrow little lives. That all knowledge and expression does not flow from 24 hour news channels and and gossip blog feeds. Their lives are lived in a tiny little box that they make for themselves. Where they know everything that happens and will happen. Where routine and order reign. Where they have control. Where no knowledge, no experience, no thoughts may enter unless they can be neatly plugged into their monotonous surroundings.
As elitist and conceited as I am, I am also humble. Because I know that I have a box that I’ve created for myself. I am doing it right now. Each word I write here is another floorboard laid. It’s just that my box is a mirror image of the surrounding boxes. Maybe a funhouse mirror.
But these boxes are as essential as homes, as clothes, as warmth in the winter and cool rains in the summer. They are our safety and our comfort against the swirling darkness unknown. They are our feeble attempt at ordering the chaos, and to feel whole. To move forward in life. To create and become who we are, we need to spring from a place of love and safety.
I do not begrudge anyone their box, nor what it looks like. Gossip can be fun and news can be interesting. But I just ask this: don’t ask me to change my box to look like yours.