Home | Off the Press | News for youth | Media | Get In Touch |

Friday, April 29, 2016

Of life and its Boxes!

One of John Mayer’s interesting quotes is that life is like a box of crayons…. He goes further and states that most people are like the 8-color boxes, but what we should be really looking for are the 64-color boxes with the sharpeners on the back…. He obviously fancies himself to be a 64-color box, though he admits he has a few missing…

I have been mulling over the last few weeks of this little concept called work-life balance! It is in that spirt that I happily dragged a few friends for a rather interesting and different talk at the All Saints Cathedral one evening after work early last week! The subject of the discussion is an article for another day but one speaker really struck a chord with me…Her presentation was on life and its little boxes that society and perhaps our own selves are so driven and pressured to tick off as we go along this journey we call life…

I’d like to think that most people have goals and live life trying to pursue them for overall satisfaction, self-esteem and purpose, but I also know that others including our family and friends alike may have their own agenda and desires that they would like to realize through us! And then there is also society and its norms and pressures that add an additional layer to boxes we are expected to tick off at a certain age to conform to certain acceptable standards.

Now trouble seemingly starts to brew in your camp when you either do not have goals, so you go with the flow or you have goals and don’t stick your guns out to defend them or you just down rightly refuse to conform to certain societal standards then others (read society) start to think there is something inherently wrong with you.

The speaker gave us her own life example; it was neither meant to be spiteful nor filled with doses of vanity but rather her own illustration of her own life boxes…and the call that we should individually choose our own boxes based on what we want and desire at a person level and not because it is perhaps expected of us especially as women!

One of the earliest boxes we have in life is education…the speaker mused that in that category she nailed each box by doing well in school and got additional ‘’bonga points’’ for taking on school captain and the most disciplined student right from primary school through to secondary…. off course this soared her easily to campus where she took a ‘’prestigious’’ course befitting of such a good girl.

Now in her mid-twenties, with a solid education at hand her next boxes to quickly tick off were; landing that job in a blue-chip company to be the envy of her peers, finding a suitable mate, getting hitched and starting a family in that order before hitting the big 3.0! Being the super achiever she clearly is, she managed to do all that by 25 and even went further sadly to change careers (because she didn’t have a say in what she actually studied for), contemplate divorce (because she really didn’t know her partner before they got married), attempt suicide and challenge social stereotypes by age 29!

I like happy endings and luckily for our speaker so did she… and so her story had a great ending that left everyone in the room in tears…the point I took home with me that night was that there is nothing wrong with having goals and dreams. I am an avid fan of the quote ‘if your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough..’ but we need to always remember why we do certain things. If they are for others we may easily get by doing them, but one day we may feel frustrated and disappointed because we are not being true to our own selves. I also appreciated the need to develop thick skin. Even if society may pressure us to behave in a certain way or accomplish certain boxes by a certain age, life is not a race and even if it were the only contender you should be racing with is yourself and your own pace and speed!

So this long weekend I will be defiantly take time to reflect on my boxes, the big ones and the small ones too, the colored ones and those that need more color in them as well as throwing out those boxes that weren’t really mine!

No comments:

Post a Comment