A/N: Originally published on April 15th, 2013 on A Purple Panda. – Alixa
STOP TRYING TO PUT ME IN A BOX!!
Henry was 12. Everyone around him thought he was a little odd. He didn’t have many friends, but everyone thought he was a nice kid. He was good in school, always had been. He loved learning new things, he was so young and inexperienced! There were so many things in this world he was unaware of and school was a window to all this knowledge.
He loved playing outside. He felt at home under the sun, as if he belonged with the trees and the flowers. He would play ball with the boys of the neighbourhood, he would swim in the pool, he would run in the park. He was good at sports, and most importantly he was a team player.
He was a little shy with the girls. He was at that age where you make a difference between friend with braids and friend without. He didn’t know how to approach them as they would giggle when e tried. It was humiliating, but if he understood that they were also nervous, maybe things would’ve been different.
He loved to read. Art and literature touched his soul in a way nothing else did. He could stare at a painting for hours, sit and read until the book was done or draw in his room all evening. As active he could be, he could also focus all that energy into creativity. Nothing amused him more than using his imagination to create fantastic worlds and epic characters.
He discovered games as well. In this technological era, game were very stimulating for a young boy. Role playing games, first person shooters, strategy games, puzzles, everything appealed to him. He was ready to try anything and would enjoy beating the game or be challenged by it. He would play alone or with online friends, but he would always remember the outside world.
As he grew up, Henry found it very hard to find his place in the world. High school was trying to label him, unsuccessfully. Jocks wouldn’t understand his love of knowledge, geeks wouldn’t get his feelings for nature, artists wouldn’t see the point of all his sport activities. He felt very alone, though had few friends who didn’t fit anywhere either. He didn’t understand the problem with being different and didn’t want to change. He loved everything he was equally and couldn’t imagine putting a part of himself aside to please others.
One day, he went to his parents and asked him why people could only be one thing. His dad said that sometimes, people felt the need to put names on everything. It comforted them to fit everything in a category. If something else came along that wouldn’t, it would create chaos and they wouldn’t know how to react. And so, most people conformed to avoid such a thing. His mother said people might feel like they couldn’t excel at everything and so chose to specialize either in sports, school or arts. This way, they would feel better. They would master true field and let others work in the areas they were less good at without guilt. A person that would be good at everything would break the balance and remind them of what they couldn’t do. So, people would accept to chose only one activity without even trying the others to respect the limitations of their comrades.
Henry thought about what his parents said for a long time. He came back to them and answered, very confident:
“Mom, Dad, I choose to create chaos. I choose to disturb the peace and I will break the non written treaty. I will excel at everything that I like and I will not feel guilty about it. We live only once and I hear all the time how short our lives are. I want to enjoy it at its fullest.
I am sorry if I am declaring war to society, but I will not allow it to put me in a box. I am Henry, not just a jock or a geek or an artist, what ever that means. I will be full and happy, and I will never stop fighting conformism.
I might never fit anywhere, but I will fit everywhere. People can either accept and adapt, or resist and miss the best parts of me. Watch me break down walls, humanity will only get better.”
Henry was sensitive and unafraid to say what his soul wanted. He listened to his heart and stayed true to himself. It wasn’t always easy, as challenges always crossed his path, but he fought head high and heart strong. He didn’t always lose, but he never backed down. He dreamed of a world where everyone could be who they are without judgment or limitation.
He went out in the world and spread his ideas to everyone willing to listen. He died of a heart disease, though he’d always been healthy. His words and dreams still live and fight in the world, though he is not always heard.
One day will come when his ideal world will be reality.