Other Boxes

By Jalauna Phillips 

As a child, one of my favorite things to do was bake cookies with my mom. She would always pull out this huge ziplock bag filled with cookie cutters. I would immediately grab the one that looked like a flower.

Well, if the box didn't say "flower" on it, it could've easily been mistaken for a cloud.

I think I often get mistaken for a cloud.

I also think I'm often labeled as a "flower".

Not literally, I just think people are always trying to find a box to put me in.

On tests and documents, its easy for me. Not Hispanic or Latino, check. Black/African American, check. Female, check. Over the age of 18, check. Single, check.

Do these companies ever think about the people who don't fit in any of their provided boxes? Or the ones who fit in multiple boxes? Although it gives us a place to leave our check, the "other" box is not a fun place to be.

I absolutely hate boxes.

One of the things that bothers me about boxes is that they get latched on to identities and stereotypes. If I check Christian, I get labeled "too holy" or "too good to go out". If I check Artist, I get labeled "lazy" and "rebellious". If I check Anxiety, I get labeled "dramatic" or "emotional'.

The LGBTQ box, the trap music box, the democrat/republican box, the religion box, the pineapple on pizza box, the hoe box, the list goes on forever.

We will never run out of boxes to put people in.

Unless they're being used for housing. In that case, I don't think we have enough but that's a different conversation.

The thing is, we're humans, not check marks. We are not meant to live trapped in boxes built like cages for animals. We are free spirits, created to explore the complexity of our existence.

I am not the product of a one dimensional cookie cutter mold. I am not defined solely on what I worship or who I am in relationships with. I am not the boxes that this world puts me in.

I am so much.

I am constantly learning, changing, adapting in a body and space too big for a box.

This is not rebellion, this is freedom.

My Eyes Are Set On: banning the box. 

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