Thursday, March 22, 2012

On living without borders

Humans can't stand the unknown. This is why we live in a society dictated by rules and neat little categories. We label, we judge, and even the nonconformists conform in a sense. It's a sad thing, but the majority of the world, myself included, feel the need to define themselves, pin themselves down. We read books about coming of age, and the implication is that as you grow up, you will come to know yourself and your niche in the world. In reality, the opposite is true.

It's hilariously ironic and difficult to accept, but the only thing you can ever be completely certain about is that you can never be completely sure about anything. The only constant in this world is change. This is why it's so absolutely absurd to try to define yourself or anything else. I don't know if other people feel the same, but in my opinion, every second I am alive leaves me an utterly different person than I was the last.

However, as creatures programmed to label, unable to cope without boundaries, this concept, once it has even been realized, is tremendously difficult to process. One of my greatest struggles and uncertainties in my life is my gender identity. I identify as gender-fluid, but my constant gender swings and in-between feelings are eating away at me; I feel too girly to be a boy, but too not a girl to commit to being a girl full time (disclaimer: I am not insinuating that my gender expression is a choice, at all, moreover I'm unable to cope with the constant flip-flopping and unidentifiable feelings and so feel the need to commit to one gender). I like girl clothes and my girl body too much to identify as female-to-male transgender and turn my life upside down, but identifying as a girl all the time would mean casting aside an important part of who I am. It's incredibly frustrating, especially because the constant gender-flopping confuses myself and those around me. I am hoping that, with time, I can come to accept myself more and potentially be appeased with simply being a tomboy on the days where I feel profoundly masculine. It's an excruciating process that adds a lot of strain to my life - but why must I define myself at all?

We weren't meant to be pinned like a butterfly on a cork-board, permanently lodged in one spot in society, into one personality our whole lives. We take in too much information every day to remain unchanged. We are always changing, and change is a beautiful thing! I personally cannot keep myself on a schedule. I buy planning notebooks and they end up forgotten in my bag in a few weeks. I organize my entire room only to re-clutter all my surfaces within the month. To be honest, I'm just a little bit lazy and forgetful, and also a little bit too adventurous to wake up and do the same thing every day of my life! I love learning, but school was always torture because of the way we all shuffle about when the bell rings like mindless drones, learning things because state requires us too, under intense pressure. Sure, some things in life are time-sensitive, but general schooling suppresses creative urges  and adds an amazing amount of undue stress to a person's life.

Society's expectations lead people, especially young people, to believe they have to do certain things. These assumptions cause people to live within boundaries, without even realizing what they've done or the world of opportunities waiting for them. I'm always a bit suspicious of people who have wanted to do the same thing since they were very young. Some people may have a genuine calling, but most are probably following the leader, rising up to expectations, and not considering all the possibilities. There are probably a million people out there with the potential to change the world, and maybe one hundred of them will actually realize their own power.

On that note, I present a challenge. I dare you to do one thing every day you would not normally do or don't think yourself capable of doing. If you're shy, a big step may be paying someone a compliment, or talking to someone you've been hesitating to talk to for a while now. If there is a skill, such as a form of art, that you admire but think you can't pursue, I challenge you to do some research and dive in... if you think you can't paint, then paint! After all, legends are made, not born. Any time the voice in your head hesitates or tells you there is something you cannot do, I challenge you to defy that evil voice! You never know, the stranger on the sidewalk may turn out to be the love of your life. I challenge you to live without borders and hold nothing back.

No comments:

Post a Comment