XXXIII -A boy and his box

March, 2019

One is taught that they can be anything. One is taught they have good qualities. One is taught they don't have to try so hard in life. One is protected from the truth that lies beneath their shielding bubbles. One does anything to avoid facing that truth, avoiding getting hurt. This way one is kept safe, stranger to the real world. But as one learns from mistakes, one also becomes stronger through pain. When you lose, you gain. Try it; make yourself vulnerable and prone to suffering. Allow someone to break your trust. Allow your beliefs be stomped on. Allow the things you hold most dear remain in a fragile position, not within your reach. Allow changes to happen for nothing in this universe is constant.

 

That said, one might grow a tougher skin. Not to let every single mistake and insult get to them. Not to feel bad when someone loses face with them. Avoid trying to blame yourself over making the second party upset. This kind of submissive attitude builds up when you grow in an overprotective environment. Insecurity strikes hard when faced with the cold world. Might even shroud one with denial and oppression. "This is what I've been covering from?" If one is unable to face reality, is it okay to let them step back into their bubble?

 

This color represents safety, comfort and warmth. However, once you see it as a short-sighted cape around you, the same color might carry an opposite sensation, one of confusion.

My two cents here, however. Security produces emotional distance. That's its sole purpose. Over time, one might become strager to one's self. Is this change too sudden, too rash? There might not be one black-and-white truth to it. One balances between the tranquility of closeness and vulnerability – being able to stay true and without shields – and security of confidence – being able to stand your ground and fight those who invade your space – lacking answers where to stand. One becomes stranger to one's self. One is proud of self but discover to have distanced from what they used to call familiar and home. Love.

 

One is proud to have grown so much through mistakes and suffering, but one is tired of getting their trust fractured time and again. One is tired. One doesn't need pity, they do not seek approval or spoiling for their feelings. In fact, one would probably feel demeaned as a result. One only attempts to reach for recognition. To be able to speak beneath their hardened skin, "Hey, you're not the only one who is having trouble. You aren't any more special than I or them. Stop fishing for attention and wake up." One is tired of trying to be tough.

 

I guess that one is me. I am just an emotion-driven human. You may as well just dismiss everything I say. Tomorrow I’m thinking differently, as are you. But should thoughts like these kept away and private? I dunno, you tell me.

 

I've learned something on my journey through life. The elements that build up our universe – the laws of nature, physics, human behaviour, everyday problems – consist of very basic and small principles. What makes up our weight against the earth? Why do species produce offsprings? Why do you experience procrastination? Why is world politics so fucked up? Why do you feel sadness, joy? It all comes down to the same core elements: the universe obeyes four fundamental forces, the most basic building blocks that make up why you're pulled towards the earth or why we have this thing called electricity. Amongst every other trivial interaction. As for humans, we're the product of evolution. Let's face it, the way you and I are raised in this developed environment of technology, paper-printed boundaries and mass production defies how humans used to live not too long ago.

 

Evolution cannot keep up with the change. Green represents nature and all that’s natural. Embrace it.

One used to live inside this box filled with windows. From within, one could gaze upon interesting things that remain unfamiliar to them. Things they heard about and read about, but never experienced. These things reside outside the boundaries of this box. One thought, "Things are always done like this in the box, so this is life. This is my place in the world. I lack permission to step outside this box. Why? The big man said so." One lived by the tradition within the box but watched more often beyond the windows than not. One enjoyed their life, not knowing any better.

 

But one wished to try out these things. One wanted to be something more, something different. Turns out the box had a door. One is careless, they have always confused the door with one of the windows. One lacking in studying details. One day they discovered the door and stepped out it's unused frames. One learns the most valuable perspective he ever did: the box he lived in created this delusion of boundaries. Rules. Ultimately, it was none other than themselves who created this false illusion – that everything beyond the windows remain outside their reach, that they're not worthy of trying out – this ideology that locked one within the box. The walls of the box and therefore its design is simple. It echoes an expressionless dark white.

 

As soon as one stepped outside, the shape of a cube behind him began to crumble. There are no more doors to step out of, this is it. "Do I now see the whole potential?" Everything that defines one's life is still intact, untouched by the demolition. But the box with windows in gone. One is now free to do whatever he wants and try all the things he gazed from within the box. One is happy. One could jump from joy. One has widened his worldview. "I created my own limits? All of this has always remained within reach?"

 

An observer could deduce that one is to blame. But what if one was never told they could step outside, that there was a door? Is it now because of the intimidating big man who watched over him that one was too afraid to step out. Could the big man have encouraged one to step out? Or is one supposed to blame himself for staying in the box?

 

I see the box in the bottom of a shallow sea, where sunlight doesn't have a direction. Light is not a tangible concept, it's all around you in this make-believe reality. The things one gazes upon float around, as images inside bubbles. If I could draw, I would show you this scenery in order to help you understand better. But for now, this shade of blue is all I see. This shade of blue is what one sees.

All learning happens via righting a wrong or building upon a blank foundation. You cannot learn without making mistakes. You run on ice and slip: you learn. Your primitive instincts begin to associate the pain with the mistake, so next time you'll try to avoid it or do something differently. What you're doing right now is you're righting a wrong; you wish to avoid the pain that comes with mistakes.

 

You think carrots grow on trees and one day learn that your idea is wrong: you learn. You have made a mistake in interpretation or deduction, a misconception. Gaining knowledge is either bending the misconception you had into something more clear and rational or obtaining information about something you had no prior concept about. By learning something you have no knowledge on, you're correcting the missing information; to some extent, this could also count as a type of misconception, a mistake. But no sense beating yourself up over the things you didn't know, although it's important that you don't follow false truths.

 

Everyone makes mistakes. We are not machines, but something much more fallible. It's up to each one of us how to handle those mistakes. Stupidity should not be confused with ignorance, where one wouldn't have any idea that an active stove contains extreme temperatures destructive to one's skin. But if one continues to touch the stove either expecting different results or not realizing the harmful consequences: that's stupidity.

 

Now, I personally know many people who'd rather make fun of ignorant people rather than teaching them. This is something you need to stop doing! You're only making your own dissatisfaction contagious to the person you're demeaning. Needless to say, there are no winners in this situation. It takes very little effort to actually share a tip or two.

 

My grade school used to have this traditional brick pattern covering its public sides. Spending my days alone and bullied, I'd get very familiar with the details of its structure. This is the shade of red I laid my eyes on. Every single day.

It's difficult to materialize your thoughts into intelligible sentences. At the same time, one feels like becoming more isolated by being apathetic like this, repelling people away. "I don't want such a sad person in my life." But one rarely feels this way. One has gone a long way to learn how to handle these confusing feelings.

 

At one point in time, one had a strong – might I say, overwhelming – tendency to crawl in their own pity. One is told "shut up!" after provoking a second party with irritating gestures and noise. One gets scared and hides in a corner. "I know many people will speak to me like that in the future....." One is scared and seeks acceptance. One yearns to hear that he hasn't done anything wrong. The thought alone is too much to bare.

 

If you succumb to this type of pity, it's difficult to get out. You begin insulting yourself, talking yourself down over something you did or said. You twist your words to bait reassurance out of the other person. But nothing came. In fact, the second person said something vague to perhaps resemble something one needs to hear, but it's not enough. One wants to hear the exact words, but even that would seem insincere. Even one himself doesn't know what he wants to hear, let alone how. It's an endless limbo of pity.

 

It's something one grew out of. But you cannot change your inner core. Your natural being will always remain there one way or another; you just learn to suppress it. These writings might be the closest thing one gets to express himself. How I wish to express myself. I don't need pity. I don't wish people to see me as a apathetic person. To be honest, I don't even want you to read this in a negative tone. Take something out of it.

 

Unlike the previous brick-red, this red is that of intimacy. Pure love. You learn something from every relationship, be it friends, family or romantic ones. Once you encounter the greenest grass you've ever witnessed, it's difficult to let it go and settle with less. To quote her and thus resonate with her words, "I've always felt like I'm alone with my thoughts. It's wonderful to know my kind of people exist." Now I feel like the one isolated with these thoughts.

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