Poem: Brit Burr
Illustration: Sarah Newnes
Goodbye Boxes is a testament to my frustration with the boxes others place me inside.
I feel as if the conversations I am having are simply so others can understand me better, and orient themselves to me in a way which works for them.
When we experience trauma (for example), it feels as if people ask questions not to help us or hear us, but to gain more tools to define us. People feel anxious when we no longer fit in the boxes they’ve placed us inside. If we experience a breakup or leave a job, it makes it challenging for other’s to maintain their constructed perceptions of us. Know what I mean?
I’d like to break free from these boxes, and I think the way to do so is by seeking first to understand and accept myself and my current situation. With this understanding, I can create terms and descriptions which feel right and are not reductive to the person that I am.
Even in terms of questions like “what do you do?” Let’s ask ourselves if we even identify with the answers we are providing, or if they are just formulas we’ve constructed to smoothen these formulaic interactions.
Put simply, we do not have to fit in any single box or collection of boxes at any point in time. We can define ourselves and understand ourselves so fully that the exterior pressure from other individual’s perceptions of us holds no power.
I’d like to own my current situation, my hardships, and my actions, and I feel that rejecting these reductive, arbitrary boxes is the first step.
This being said, above is a manifestation of my frustration as well as a vow to give fewer shits about how others choose to understand me.