Boxing a Chameleon, Part 1

If you’ve read my About page, then you know that I don’t like it when people try to put me in a box.  Does it look like I could fit into a box?  I warn you not to try. I aint gonna fit

You know the scene.  You’re at a dinner party and meet someone new.  Within the first five minutes they ask The Question or pose The Statement.  If you’re new to the blog ,what I’m saying is that people want your stats.  That’s the info that would flash across the TV screen and under your head shot when the sports reporter is talking about your performance in the game of life.  The usual…

Name, occupation, age, marital status, hometown, income bracket, religion, political party, education, and a few little fun facts. 

The unfortunate thing is that once someone has your stats, they’ll pair that info with assumptions they’ve made based on your looks and Bam!, they think they know you.  They’ve built your box.  Do this to me and I’ll quickly sound the game show buzzer for a wrong answer.  Errrrr…. Try AgainYou can’t box a chameleon.

I have a lot of different interests and find myself in different settings all the time.  Maybe it comes from growing up in a middle-lower class working family and climbing clawing my way up the corporate ladder, but I’m at ease and comfortable in very diverse environments.  And, it’s a genuine feeling of ease. 

You could meet me on the street…

in a crowd…

dropping from the sky…

at work in a man’s world…at home being a wife…or even at an elegant black tie affair…

So, where do I fit in?  If you met me in any one of those situations, you would make assumptions.  You would box me.  That’s human nature.  We crave definition. 

A few ex-friends have dropped me like a hot potato when they discovered that I no longer fit into the box they designed for me.  That caused a lot of confusion in my life.  I was always questioning who I was and trying to define myself – trying to squeeze into a box.  Any box. 

So, I picked a nice sturdy box and lived in it for a while.  Let’s call it the Upper-Middle Class (Boring) Lifestyle Box.  I stopped doing things that didn’t fit the mold.  It was dark in that box.  There wasn’t enough air.  And, my back ached…all the time.

Enter stage right – early onset of a mid-life crisis.  I wanted needed out of that  box.  I had been in there too long.  That’s when I began some soul searching and the idea for The Chameleon’s Backbone sprung to life.  The box didn’t define me.  It confined me.

[Sidebar to guys in the audience – most of us face mid-life identity issues.  Buying a corvette, shaving your head, and ditching your wife for a 23-year old chick named Candi is not a productive use of this time.  Geesh – get a grip!]

So, here I am…heading full steam ahead to my 40th birthday.  My box is gone – thank God.  So far, I’ve come to the conclusion that regardless of what I’m doing, how I’m dressed, or what group of people I happen to be with, I am still the same me, carried around in the same body, having the same values, supported by the same BACKBONE.  My environment can change all it wants, but it doesnt mean I have to change to fit in.  My chameleon nature is genuine and is only happening on the outside.  Inside, I am solidly me.  It took a long time for me to figure that out.  No more play-acting.  No more boxes.

Have you ever felt limited because people put you in a box?

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4 responses to this post.

  1. Loved this post. Actually just so grateful to come along another blogger who is on the cusp of turning 40. Can’t wait to read more from you.

    Reply

    • Thanks for the comment! I havent found many blogs either from what I’m calling mid-life, so I appreciate you finding me – I checked out your blog too!!

      Reply

  2. Oooo I love this post (and all the others) because I do feel like, in general, people try to shove you into a little box. It’s something that I always struggled with – I don’t want to be in a box! I want to have endless possibilities.

    Reply

  3. Hi there! Sounds like you’ve reached a good point in your life where you know what you want. 🙂

    Reply

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