this is just to say.

you don’t have to fit in the boxes that were built for you.


Lately, I’ve been having a hard time with words. I’ve been having a hard time taking the colorful strands and zig-zags that make up my thoughts and putting them down.

Lately, I’ve been having a hard time with myself. You think that by twenty-five, you start to understand yourself. But as I learn year after year, I don’t know myself at all.

And I think the problem is that we have these boxes that were built for us. Custom made, even. We have boxes built of the wood that is carved from our childhoods, our high school memories, our families, our cities, our culture, our religion, our choices. We build boxes—measuring and making sure we’re reflecting what we’ve learned along the way—we build boxes. And then the unfortunate moment comes—we don’t quite fit. We don’t quite believe what our parents believe about politics. We don’t quite like the music that our friends do—or somedays we do, but other days you want to be defined by the songs that sung your nineteen your old self to sleep. Somedays, we look back at photos and say “I knew myself then” and we want to hold onto fifteen-seventeen-twentyone—but we can’t. We don’t fit in those boxes anymore.

You don’t have to fit in the boxes that were built for you. And maybe you still want to and that’s not reassuring—but to me, it’s everything. You don’t have to fit in the boxes that were built for you. You can evolve. You don’t have to fit in the Southern religious landscape. You don’t have to fit in the Northwestern state of mind. You don’t have to fit because you are not meant for a box—you are meant for a big, wide, bold, round world. And your own world—that box of the things you know and the things you think—is too small for you.

You’re allowed to contradict yourself. You’re allowed to be brand new as the years, days, minutes pass.

You don’t have to fit in the boxes that were built for you.

You might still be figuring out who you are.
But for today, that is enough.