Living Outside the Box

My past is a country I'm glad I'll never have to revisit. 

I grew up being taught not to think outside the box. Unfortunately that’s usually where the good ideas hang out.  
I remember one day in my late teens, sitting in a cafe with my Mum, pouring my heart out to her. I was desperate to figure out what to do with my life, the difficulty being that it had to support me financially as much as emotionally.  
It was a choice between doing something that would make me miserable or … doing something that would make me even more miserable. Utilizing any of my talents or passions was out of the question. At the time, that simply was no option.  
I probably was nearly crying. A few tables from us a woman got up to go, and on her way out she suddenly stopped at our table to address me.  
“I couln’t help overhearing your conversation.”  
I looked up at her in anticipation. I forgot to breathe for a moment. I was sure this random stranger had stopped to offer me the answer to all my questions.  
And then she simply said, “ I really pity you.” and walked out.  

I remember sitting there, feeling utterly rejected by the world. Rejected because anything I had to give, the world didn’t seem to want.  
Looking back now, what pains me most is how conditional my self love was. How much I considered my own value dependent on how much value “the world” saw in me. How much I thought it neccessary to distort myself just to survive.  

I’m done with that. That’s what I truly like about the present, in spite of all the challenges.

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