Sunday, April 6, 2014

My Masterpiece: In Progress

"We are not permitted to choose the frame of our destiny. But what we put into it is ours."
 -Dag Hammarskjold

When you are born, you are brought into a family. A lifestyle. You are dropped into a preconceived belief system. You survive on the income that your family, or other caretakers, presently earn. Your birth determines who hears you speak your first words. It determines if you will go to a private elementary school. It even determines if you will have enough food to eat each day as you crawl around in diapers.

At the beginning of your life, you are given a map of what your life could potentially be. You could be just like the people in your community. At birth, you are given all the tools you need to create a replica of what you have been raised to accept as normalcy. For some people, this is enough. For them, it is enough to become another member of the Women's Bible Study at the local Baptist church, whispering words of judgement as you make notes of what God says you should forgive. For some, it is enough to wake up, go to a dead-end job, go home and drink yourself into oblivion. And even some are happy enough with just finding enough willpower to get out of bed.

These are the people that take their foundation, (the framework, if you will) and create a life around it. A copy-and-paste, cookie-cutter life. 

But I have never been a follower. I see that foundation as a starting point. A jumping off point. It is the one constant in my life. My past is will always be there, and it will always be an option. Because of that fact, there is no need to stay in that moment. I use that stability in my life's framework to help catapult me into the life I want.

It's not that I don't respect people who want normalcy. I mean, I totally get it. It is safe. It is almost guaranteed. But I know that the strongest people I have ever met (my parents) have both gone off-course in their lives. They used their framework to their advantage. They took the things they were taught, expanded on it, and create a masterpiece. They provided my sisters and I with a nurturing home. And they are always there when anyone needs them. I am lucky to have a foundation like that.

However, I was raised in what just may be the most closed-minded town in America. From gay bashing, racism, sexism, to "do not question God" and no not "use the Lord's name in vein. OR ELSE." All of the ignorance felt like a chokehold. 

If I had let that town paint the picture of my destiny, it would be the picture of hatred of others, and in the end it would be a picture of self-hatred.

I appreciate my past. I really do. I understand ignorance spreads like a disease, and I can't despise those who become infected. I really feel sorry for them. Because their life's "masterpiece" was signed by another artist: He Who Spoke Loudest.

Don't forget where you came from. Without it you would not be who you are today. But, don't let it control you. When you let your past control you, you can not be the person you are meant to be.


  1. Thank you for writing this today.

    "Because of that fact, there is no need to stay in that moment."

    I can change the direction of my life, whether I am hung up on something that happened 5, 10, 20 years ago, or only yesterday.

    1. Thank you for reading! And you are totally right. Sometimes we forget that we have enough power and strength inside us to set our sails towards a new life. :)