Fear and safety win out over love and adventure so much of the time; either way, we persevere. But I ask:
What new lives, perhaps more authentic selves, reside outside the box I've created of my life? What feelings, ideas, thoughts live out their brief existence as merely sparks that flash quickly through me, or as quiet mumbles or grumbles barely heard under the clamor of everyday din? All that mental, emotional, social, cultural, foundational programming slowly directs me – making the choices as to what I heed, or ignore, or build on . . . that becomes the box, the container of my life. How very organized, contained and interdependent it all is.
But then maybe that fleeting image, or a mote-thought, floats slowly through once or twice, then more repeatedly and insistently, until one day you may realize there's something becoming real, a soft rumble now calling to you – no longer a brief imagining or a flight of fancy. And you look directly at it. Suddenly, the box of your life has a door, or maybe just a crack. Do you open the door? Do you peek through the crack? I did. I opened. And life is never the same box again. That's the rub.
You can slam the door shut and run, but the opening doesn't disappear. It's either the weakened wall you always have to bear yourself up against, or the opening to seeing what might be on the other side. Could be a garden path to heaven; could be the devil in hell; could be just the next room, another box. But the door, the opening, is always there, whether you walk through or not, or whether it becomes just a faded outline in memory - good for a smile, tear or wistful wondering.
How many adventures and experiences are lost, or explored? How many selves are discarded, unlived? How many lives are "saved?" We really are limitless potentials, but our lives are sometimes defined by something as impulsive as a momentary awareness, even a random glance, or a simple "yes," but probably much more frequently, by the familiar and plodding weight of patterns and choices already made.
For me, it feels as if there's a fiery, young person inside, and she's kicking open doors.