Thursday, April 8, 2010

That Dreaded Box

Have you ever been stuck in the box?  Can't seem to come up with any new ideas?  Can't see things a new way, from a different perspective?  Stuck in a rut?

I hope I'm getting close with those statements, because I'm not a hundred percent sure I know what it means to be in the box.  I've heard of it.  I may have even been accused of being in it once or twice.  But with any suggestion that I am stuck in the box I begin to picture myself pantomiming (probably not a real word).  The walls.  The ceiling.  The scared look because I can't escape.  Very Marcel Marceau, let me tell you.

When my kids were little, I remember their kindergarten teacher (yes, they all had the same fabulous one) telling me that they were very out-of-the-box thinkers.  She said this with glee.  She beamed with pride.  She praised me.  Please let me be honest when I say that I didn't really know what she meant.  I knew they were creative and smart, but I didn't really get the whole in/out of the box idea.

Until recently.  It happened in a psycho-education group.  I know, big surprise.  Another thing I learned about myself through therapy.  A couple of years ago I was attending a weekly class with a group of women learning various things that you don't learn when you are raised in a screwed up environment.  I had shared with the group leader an interaction that I'd had with someone.  As I explained my approach, another woman in the group lit up.  She said that she'd never thought of it that way.  She and I became friends.  She says she loves it when I share my writing and interactions with her because I see things differently. 

So it was that moment, a couple of years ago as she explained to me what I'd done to help make things clear for her, that this idea became clear for me.

I've listened to other people.  I've observed other people.  And I've found that I do tend to see the world a little differently than most.  A little quirky.  A little twisted.  But also, full of options.

I don't know why.  The things I see are so obvious that I always assumed that others would see it too if they just looked.

I guess it's like my color blindness.  You can see colors the same way as everyone else.  I can't.  No matter how hard I try, I cannot see the red spray paint on the green grass.

But that's okay, because I can see the box.  I can play with it.  Stand on it.  Tip it over.  Run around it.  Ignore it.  And sometimes, just for fun, I climb inside it. 

And pretend it's a spaceship!


Kazzy said...

I liked playing with big ol' refrigerator boxes as a kid, and it was a blast. I like to think that I am outside of the box most times. But every now and then that smell of cardboard creeps in and I find myself following some kind of formula for my life that nobody but me made me follow. When I think about it, I have always been happiest when I smash the box as do what I want.

Dona said...

...or that you are a cat in a rat race. No. Wait. That was your offspring's comment. You were the rat that sat down in the box and got eaten by Jessicat. Yes, I see where she gets it.

Yarell said...

i really did try to think of an out of the box comment, but i guess the caffeine hasn't kicked in yet. All i can come up with are lame jack in the box jokes...

K and D Roylance said...

I've never thought of you as being in a box, but I've never thought about a lot of things before you write about them.
Not sure where I am, (ha!, I'm pretty sure I've been in this week) but I like recognizing different choices and then choosing, even if that means choosing in.

Greg Hendricks said...

I prefer Congreve Cubes myself. But honestly, I am so far out of it, I have never found the box.