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How to Live Life Outside the Box
Me After Graduation
3 Steps to Living Life Outside the Box
Deciding not to go to college straight out of high school wasn't that hard of a decision, for me. Even though I went to an all boy college preparatory Catholic high school where the rate of seniors who go to college right out of high school is 99% I felt good about my decision. I didn't decide not to go because I wanted to feel different or be in that 1% of people who didn't go to college. I'm not trying to throw up a middle finger to society and basically say I can figure out life better than you can for me. I'm not a rebel type of kid and actually people who try to separate themselves in an act of rebellion live in the deepest boxes. The reasons why I decided not to go to college straight out of high school was because I am aware, I’m thoughtful and I have a sense of adventure.
Spinning Top Totem
Whether you're trying to decide on what to do for college, looking at going for that dream career or any other life altering decision being aware of yourself and to all your possibilities is huge in living outside the box. Many people get confused on what their actual dreams are for their life because they aren't in tune with themselves. For example, society feeds students the idea that once you're finished with high school you need to immediately go to college and there find out what you want to do and who you want to be within the 4 or 5 or 6 years you're in college. (And just a sidetone that's a very expensive way to find yourself.) But in reality the idea that you need to go to college to become a well off person is a total box that a lot of people fall into. For some people it's not so much society that fuels the flames of pressure, but parents or peers. The best visual I can come up with for what it looks like to be aware is the way they used a totem in the movie Inception. (If you haven’t watched Inception I would please ask you stop reading, go buy the dvd and watch it. It’s that good!) Cobb, acted by Leonardo DiCaprio, used his spinning top totem to tell if he was in a dream or in reality. In the same way it's important for all of us to have that "totem" to distinguish if we are living out someone else's dream for our life or our own. The first step of living life outside the box is being aware to what boxes are in front of you so you don't accidentally live ten, twenty, thirty plus years in someone else's reality for your life.
Being thoughtful is the second step in living outside the box because creating a new path is always harder than going through charted territory. When separating from the mainstream path of your peers there’s always a big risk because there’s no detailed map to follow. Now you might be wondering at this point what is this kid going to be doing if he's not going to school next year. Well, fortunately my family and I have been blessed with the opportunity to live in the Dominican Republic. Which, now I'm really excited about, but when I first heard the news I was somewhat nervous. I've always wanted to be a writer. I like creative writing specifically and I know I need to learn more about writing if I want to do it professionally. So, at the time I really couldn't see how my desire to learn more about creative writing and going to a foreign country where they speak spanish would really work out. But I didn't panic and become close minded to the idea of moving. I just took the time to think about how I could fuse these two completely different paths together. I have to draw out my own map of how I want to get to my goal of being a professional writer, which is scary, because there’s no guarantee that I’ll draw it up right. But deeper than the scary feeling is the feeling of what if this works and I make the right moves and end up conquering my goals my own way; that feeling makes living life outside the box really fulfilling and overcomes the fear.
Having a Sense of Adventure
The funnest part of living life outside the box is the actual adventure. The first two steps are a state of mind and thought process, but having a sense of adventure is all about physically going out and reaching for your stars in life. It’s creating a story that’s unique, exciting and an experience that most of your peers won’t be able to relate to. The reality of letting go of all comforts and diving into something much bigger than yourself is the fruit of adventure. When you follow the norm or what people expect of you you put yourself into a box because it’s all about you. All of your focus and all of your emotions are on your own personal success, which can hinder you from fully enjoying life. Being adventurous enables people to become dissolved with something much vaster than themselves, which allows for freedom, instead of a feeling of being trapped like being inside a box. Life is too short not to live freely.