I was 14 years old when it began. When I let people start taking pieces of me in the name of love… telling me I was too much, too feeling, too wild. I was made wrong for not wanting to box myself up in all the ways living this life asks of us. For being myself and choosing to do things my own way.
It was often slow at first, and oh so subtle. All the times I allowed myself to be picked apart, to have pieces stripped straight from my soul.
There were years of this. Years of rounding my edges so I could fit into the kind of life I never wanted in the first place. Taming my wildness for the sake of someone else’s comfort. Years of giving myself away, piece by piece and day by day… until everything that made me who I am disappeared.
Lately I’ve been doing the work of reclaiming my wildness.
And I’m not talking about the reckless, careless, self destructive kind, or having total disregard for those around me… nor am I referring to the “wildness” that’s often confused with drugs, alcohol, and numbing out.
I’m talking about reclaiming who I am at my core and living the life I was born to live. Reconnecting to the raw, untamed, passionate, and alive parts of myself. The pure, true, soulful aspects we’re all born with and carry inside… buried beneath layers of obligation and expectation.
We lose sight of these parts when we bend, fold, and conform to those around us, when we tame our wildness for the sake of someone else’s comfort.
I recently found myself crying in my car, driving home in the wee hours of the morning after a night out with old friends and new. A night that was full of connection, laughter, and beautiful surprises around every corner.
I was so unbelievably happy in that moment.
I’d finally untangled myself from all the ways I was playing small, from all the ways of being that required me to bend and fold. There were no boxes to cram my soul inside of. No dimming my light. No rounding my edges. There was just me, living the kind of life that lights my heart on fire.
We’re not made to fit inside someone else’s life.
We’re made for our own visions, dreams, and goals, and our wildness is the key to understanding what that means for us.
Our raw, untamed, passionate, alive parts.
I’m made for impromptu star gazing alongside mountain lakes in the middle of the night. Climbing boulders and sunset summits. I’m made for laughter and depth and cuddles galore with favorites and strangers all at once. For spontaneity and adventure at the drop of a hat. And I’m made for creating. For expressing, feeling, and desiring everything and nothing all at once. I’m made for experiencing all that this life and world have to offer.
And you? You have your own flavor of wild.
Maybe it’s coloring outside the lines or thinking outside the box.
Maybe it’s backpacking through the wilderness by yourself.
Maybe it’s wearing those crazy shirts from your favorite thrift store.
Maybe it’s breaking barriers and innovating in your industry.
Maybe it’s parenting your children in unconventional ways.
Maybe it’s starting your very own business or passion project.
Finding our wildness is about finding what makes us come alive, what roots us more deeply into ourselves, and what makes us unique and different. It’s also about finding those whose wildness matches ours.
It’s definitely not about playing small and fitting into boxes.
Originally published at medium.com