When I was younger I never liked to color in coloring books. Blank pieces of paper and boxes of crayons were what made my heart dance. I memorized the Crayola colors as if they were tiny pieces of magic – and if you asked me what my favorite color was I’d say, Robin’s Egg Blue.
When I was younger I’d fill the pages will stories and colors, pictures of people and bits of my imagination were splashed on the blank pieces of paper.
I never liked the lines.
I still don’t like lines.
Coloring books look a little differently when we get older. There aren’t lines of pictures, but there are other borders, other boundaries, other limits we put on our creativity, containers that we put on our humanity.
We put ourselves in boxes, in checklists, in the characters of a tweet, and in the tiny squares of Instagram. We limit ourselves or others based off of our marital status, our gender, our race, our education. We make arbitrary rules about feelings, about sayings, about who’s allowed to do what – and it’s exhausting.
Aren’t you tired?
I’m so tired.
Let yourself color outside the lines. Wouldn’t that be liberating?
Let yourself break free of the things you think you’re supposed to do – and let your imagination, your heart, your intelligence, and your determination set your course. Because at the end of the day, it’s your life. So if you’re letting people set the parameters for your own course of living – you’ll never know your capacity for learning, for loving, and for living.
Break out of the box, the checklist, the tenor and tone of what you think your social media feeds should be. Let yourself be defined by pages and pages of words and ideas, not just a singular adjective. Give that same consideration to other people, too. You don’t have to ascribe to some preconceived notion of what the world thinks you are – you are allowed to tell the world.
Break the confines in which you were placed.
Do not be afraid to color outside the lines.