I’ve been thinking a bit about how we place ourselves into boxes. Sometimes this is helpful, sometimes it can be stifling and boring. We’ve also been talking about boxes during YTT so I wanted to explore this theme more.
The night after I returned home from my first full day of YTT, technically day 2, I was talking to my husband via Skype and said something to the effect of how I’ve been living inside this mommy-box for so long I forgot about this other stuff I could do. Maybe it wasn’t necessarily all this stuff I “could do”, maybe more that I forgot about this person I once was, or aspects of my personality that I hadn’t gotten to use in a rather long time. This thought was triggered while walking home after riding the bus.
Before I had our daughter I travelled quite a bit. Even if it was just exploring neighboring cities or towns in wherever I was staying, I have always been curious. What’s down the end of that road I always take? What could I see in the next city over? What does that restaurant serve? What’s in that store? Even if all I ever did was look in the window, read the menu, or drive down Main Street, I’ve always wanted to know. Even if I got lost it didn’t matter; it still doesn’t matter actually. Getting lost doesn’t really bother me, I’ll find my way eventually! What I’m getting at with this is, I like to travel. I travelled and explored before I became a mommy, but since then I haven’t been able to do that as much. I even did it alone. Now that I’m not alone very much, this makes my old way of travelling and discovering pretty difficult. Yes, I know you can travel with your family, but who wants to travel with a toddler? And after that, who wants to travel with a toddler by themselves? (Not me!) I guess what I’m really saying is, I put myself into a box. A mommy-box. While this is helpful and lets me be who I need to be on a daily basis, I need to remember that there is more to me than just a mommy and a teacher. Do you put yourself in a box? Is it helpful? Do you have overlapping boxes?
Beauty & Impermanence
As I stood on the beach in Kitsilano I was struck by how beautiful everything was, and how powerfully I missed the ocean and beaches of my home state of Florida. The water wasn’t full of trash, there were seagulls, a crane, kids, parents, big kids dressed as adults, seaweed, shells, pretty much everything you expect to find at a beach. The tide was coming in very quickly as I stood there, feet in the water, staring off at the mountains. As I decided to walk back up I noticed these foot prints in the sand. I stood there and looked at them for awhile, eventually watching the water come up and wash them away. I thought as I watched that it was a shame that these cute little kid and seagull foot prints would be washed away, but then I realized that as beautiful as I found these things to be, the water coming in and out was just as beautiful. This also helped me realize that even though I’m missing home, there is so much beauty around me every day, I just have to slow down enough to see it.
When we box ourselves in to this line of thinking that “I’m” this or “I’m” that we start to lose the opportunity to become other things. I’m a Floridan that misses Florida. Well, there’s beauty here too. It’s equally as beautiful if not more so depending on your perspective. This also helped me remember that just because things aren’t permanent doesn’t mean I need to be bummed they will change; I just need to appreciate them for what they are. In fact, it’s because of impermanence that I (we?) can truly appreciate the beauty in every day.