You’re encouraged to “think outside the box.” This, apparently, is as opposed to “thinking inside the box,” where you stay comfortably in the cocoon of society and follow all its rules.

So thinking ‘outside’ the box is supposed to be exiting normal convention, going out on your own, and taking a risk. Thinking outside the box is reserved for the fearless who are willing to exit normal and leave the rules behind.

But here’s another way to think about it. What if there IS no box? What if there are no rules? What if the entirety of what you believe to be the rules is manufactured by both your own–and the collective–paranoid mind? If people continued to cling to conventional beliefs from history, doctors would still be leeching patients to try to bring them back to health, women and minorities would not be able to vote, and we wouldn’t wear white pants after Labor Day.

As they say, we’ve come a long way, Baby.

But even though these myths were debunked, eventually, we continue to blindly follow the newest myths as time goes on, even when we believe deep down in our hearts that these societal beliefs or norms are not good for us. We stay in the box. We languish in the box. We make the box real by believing so strongly in it that to step outside of its invisible lines would make us crazy.

In many ways, I’ve stepped out of the so-called “box,” and you know what happened? Nothing. No whistles blew. No bombs went off. In fact, no one cared. And, when I looked back to see how far I’d come, I realized there wasn’t any box at all. It had been–all along–a figment of my imagination, an illusion. It was an ugly rumor that keeps all of us down.

I’ve known no greater happiness since this realization. I still have a long way to go, but the idea that there is no box has given me a freedom I never would have thought possible. It doesn’t matter what anyone else is doing. I’m doing it my way. I’m writing my own music, and dancing ecstatically to it, for as long as I can. I’ve left the cocoon of convention and am joining the freaks on the other side-HAHA!–to enjoy my life in my own way and on my own terms.

Next on the list is a trip to Costa Rica and more world schooling as we go. I’m looking forward to meeting like-minded people, touring a beautiful, natural country, and digging deeper into my writing. Once I realized there is no box, the whole world opened up to me and I couldn’t be more grateful.