Living outside the box

by Maxime Durocher, April 27, 2013

I recently had a conversation about being different, about thinking and living outside the box. It was only a part of the discussion but one of the extrapolated metaphors stuck with me, because it resonated with how I felt. It was something like: « I live so far outside the box, I can’t even see it anymore. I’ve lost the box. » For me, the box I was born in is definitively lost in a sea of original thoughts.

Most teenagers will feel alienated at one time or another, if not constantly. I was like that. It’s normal, part of the incumbent misery of self-discovery. However you truly feel about it, the one thing you want at that age is to be accepted. So, you try to fit in, to fit into one of the limited and predefined socially accepted box that are available. The lucky ones will fit right in or mold themselves to their cookie cutter environment. Others will manage to squeak by. Some never do.

It took me a long time to understand that actually, being different was alright. Actually, I found out that it was great. It meant freedom. You could do whatever you want. However, it also meant that you had to think a lot, always questioning everything you see, read, or hear. Lucky me, I love thinking, and analyzing.

Living outside the box, is like building a nest. Every idea is like a twig you place just so. If one of the twig is poking you, you can just pull it out, break it, or ignore it. It’s your choice, it’s your nest.

Descartes said: « I think therefore I am. » He meant that it had to be a fundamental truth. In a world where you can question everything, you had to lay a foundation, and that was it. Philosophically speaking, that’s great, but you can reverse it and use it as as exemplary metaphor: « To be, you have to think. » If you don’t question and think about what you see, read, or hear, then are you really living?