“Little did she know that I would not be predefined.” – Life As Josephine (pg. 4)
Those were Josephine’s thoughts towards her mother at her naming her after her grandmother. Josephine was under the impression that her mother chose that name because she wanted her to take on the desirable attributes of her namesake. However, Josephine is her own person. She was bold and had an unusual passion for life for an adolescent. Josephine resigned to the fact that her mother did not get her. However, that was now the least of her worries. She never disrespected her mother but she never made her mother’s reservations about life hamper the dreams she had constantly running through her mind like a hamster on his wheel. Her mind was forever spinning. If not famous she would be well known and respected in whatever field she had chosen. She could imagine herself talking before a big crowd and being applauded.
Have you ever thought that you were being predefined by someone else’s opinion of you? They already had you figured out before you could put all the puzzle pieces together in your life? To many this limited concept of you and about life may come from a parent, a friend, a spouse, or even the social setting to which you belong. You feel boxed in like you are not being allowed to live to your full potential.
Now let me clear something up. There may be young people reading this and if you are, I am not saying to go against the rules of your home, to be disrespectful to your parents, or to break any laws. Lawlessness is not the same as living outside of the box. My character Josephine’s passion is not to be confused with any sort of disrespect. This goes for adults too. In our endeavor to define who we are we must also realize that there are governing standards that we must abide by, whether it is within a home, community, state, or federally. With that being said, let’s move on…
So living outside the box. What does it mean? Well, we can all agree that society has a set of norms that have become the desirable routes and are the defining benchmarks of success. Go to college from this age to this age, get a career by this age, get married and have kids by this or that age, and of course own your own home by this age. Many people feel the pressure to tick these boxes by the prescribed age and if they don’t they feel like failures. The problem is because life is unpredictable, most of our lives will never look like these social standards of success.
What you should be focused on is not living life according to a social construct but living life to your fullest potential. That my friend is what living outside the box is. Everyone’s potential vary and what that potential can amount to will also vary, so living your life to your fullest potential will always cause your life to look different from another person’s life. To fully realize that to you are capable of great things and to identify what those great things are, come with an awakening of sorts. You have to become aware of yourself, what makes you happy, and what you are passionate about. Josephine’s awakening came at an early age. Many parents who have children that can clearly verbalize what they want out of life can account that passion can come early in life. If that’s the case, then support your child in exploring their passions because it will save them a lot of soul searching and headaches later on in life.
Living outside of the box means living life to your fullest potential.
For a lot of us though, we discover out zeal much later in life. Pursuing what you are zealous about may take some unconventional methods that can cause your path of life to be different from others. You have to summon the courage to be different. That difference equates to living outside of the box. The good thing about creating and taking our own path is that once you decide to do it the courage will come.
Yes, living outside the box also means taking your own path. Oh and believe me, that path may be a lonely one most of the time. However, when are pursuing goals, when you are pursuing your best life it comes with the territory. The alternative is to be like everyone else and forfeit your dreams.
If you are reading this article, whether you are fifteen or fifty, I challenge you not to be predefined. To take grab life by the horns and refuse to sit on the sidelines!