You drew it. I saw it. I won’t let it define me.
You drew a box. Its boundaries weren’t drawn in sand, in pencil, in marker, in tape. But I knew. I knew the boundaries of that box. I chose not to be inside. You drew poor limits.
I chose to remain outside looking in. I did so because I’m tired of your abuse. Your words did more than hurt my feelings. They dug out my core. They spat it on the ground. You stomped on me with your vile lips. You tried to define me. You can’t abuse me with your words.
You can’t use words to harm me. I won’t let them in. I won’t let your surrogates, those you’ve brainwashed to your ways, take up property in my mind. It’s mine, all mine, my brain. Oh, and that body language that calls me names without words. My eyes no longer see it. You can’t intimidate me.
You can’t intimidate me because you refuse to acknowledge me. Therefore, I refuse to recognize you. If you are no longer human to me, then I’ve objectified you. Your object stature is short — really short. You know often that I am right. That bothers you because you live in your own little insecure world. I’ve tried to help you. I have ideas, but my ideas scare you. You know I’m better than you because I refuse to acknowledge you.
By not acknowledging you, I begin my empowerment. My thoughts can roam and run freely. Remember — I am not in your box. You drew that, not I. I did not draw a space. My world is open and boundless. I empower myself with my own thoughts. My true friends empower me. I am otherworldly, beyond your reach, because that’s what I’ve chosen for myself. I am empowered.
My power remains. I rise. I raise. I raise my bar. My expectations are so high that they are limitless. Your bar was always too low. Too low for me. You placed that bar at a level you could comprehend. Your bar was low. You thought I couldn’t do it, but I did. I am doing. I am rising. I will rise.
I will rise because I have love. My friends love me. My family loves me. Most importantly, I love myself. My love emanates because I stood up. I climbed my own ladder. I looked down and saw your dingy, worthless box. It blew in the wind. It was empty of content. I felt pity for you.
Because I love myself. I refuse to allow you to rule me. I will not break. I am strong. Your box will never hold me.
James Pearce has been teaching for 20 years as a high school English/Language Arts teacher. He is also certified to teach high school biology. He has an MS in Public Relations from the renowned Boston University School of Communication and an MBA from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. He lives with his wife (also a teacher), two kids, and two dogs in Fishers, IN in the heartland of America.