When the boxes won’t fit anymore


I don’t lose control often. But when I do, I do so spectacularly. I don’t mean cut my hair short and change the colour. I mean burn-bridges, storm-out-and-quit-my-job, get-in-my-car-and-move-halfway-across-the-country, or use-bursary-money-to-buy-a-horse-I’ve-never-seen kind of losing control. I have yet to regret any of these. I am a firm believer that we make choices, and once a choice is made, there is no reason to keep looking back, pondering “what if’s”. It’s done. It’s over. Deal with it.

I haven’t had too many of these since getting married. First, because my husband is my stability. When my tightrope balancing act swings too far out of control, he has always been there to stop it from getting out of control. Secondly because although he has yet to let me down, he actually can’t handle it. I did have one major stuff-this-job-up-your-arse-although-I-have-no-backup-plan incident shortly after we were married and he nearly had a nervous breakdown. I have messed up his five-year-plan too often to recall. To me, that is just life, to him, it’s a threat to sanity.

Lately however, this same stability has been feeling a lot like a straight jacket. My husband is a black-and-white kind of reasoner – probably why both kids and dogs are much more obedient around him. His rules are set, unwavering and unchangeable. While I like things to fit into my various labelled boxes, I like to dabble more in the various shades of grey – not at all related to a recent book of a similar title! I just like things to be fluid and flexible. Lines are there to be crossed; rules to be broken once in a while. The only way to enjoy peace and harmony is if it is interspersed with some drama once in a while. And if drama is lacking, it ought to be created!

As a naturally anxious person, the easiest way to make sense of things is to categorise them and place them neatly into little boxes. That way everything has a place, a purpose and a natural life-span. But certain things defy my boxes. Certain people will not fit neatly into any one category. It breaks my brain. The only way to fix this fatal flaw in the system is to blow up the entire apple cart and start fresh. Build new boxes. Write new labels.

I can feel a bout of this insanity coming on right about now…It scares me a little this time round. The options available for “losing it” are a little limited at the moment. But I have slowed down and waited for the feeling to pass too many times now. It won’t be stifled any longer.

What would happen if we defied the conventions set for us by society? What would life be like if we stopped making the “right”, prudent choices? Might there be a rainbow of available colours if only we would stop stashing things in the “safety” of sensible, black-and-white decisions? It would be messy, but it would be magnificent in it’s display of messiness! It might be an adventure?

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