Writing

Boundaries

Track spinning |That’s the way love goes,
Janet Jackson

I’m usually great when it comes to self discipline but today while in the presence of myself, an empty fridge, a starving belly and a pile full of books to study I was drawn into the muddy waters of greasy French fries and burgers. I had been fixated on this craving for indulging in supremely unhealthy food for quite some time and alas an opportunity finally arose for me to cave in.

I dwindled back and forth contemplating the idea for some time, but before my mind could stop me I made a stealth dash out of my apartment, hopped into my car, gassed up the engine and sped to the nearest fast food diner.

Within moments I arrived at Waterloo’s finest, the ‘Chill and Grill’. I stepped out of my car and had a quick peep around to make sure no one was around to witness my sinful ways. I headed in going immediately to the cash register demanding the burger combo that came with the large box of oily, crispy, French fries.

After paying my dues I walked to the end of the counter, pacing back and forth with my head down and my over sized sunglasses glued to my face. I frequently glanced over the counter to monitor the progress of my tasty grub. Sizzles and smells soothed my senses. Happy couples indulging around me had me tapping my toes in anticipation. I clasped my hands close together in my attempt to stay controlled.

And alas, my turn had come.

After loading up my burger with tasty toppings, the man stuffed my greasy goodness into a large brown paper bag. Rolled up the top and handed me my ‘doggy bag’; true diner style. Without another thought, I was on my way out.

Back up to my apartment I went. Grabbed a plate and headed straight to my room, shutting the door tightly behind me. Finally… we were alone. In the privacy of ourselves where there was nothing to be ashamed or afraid of.  Without another moment of hesitation, I dove my hands in the bag, tore off the wax paper, and stuffed my face in warm, juicy, fried, soy-chicken burger. It was perfect. Succulent and wholesome. Smooth and delicious. Everything I wanted and more.

As I continued in my unsanctioned eating ways for the next 20 minutes my emotions bounced back and forth between exhilaration and extreme guilt. After my long awaited ‘dessert’ dinner, I couldn’t help but feel guilty for indulging and yet I wouldn’t have survived had I not done so. This got me thinking about boundaries, the implications and motivations that make us stay within them and break them.

***

As a teenager, breaking boundaries was the cool ‘thing’ to do. It deemed you as the rebellious and fearless; essentially the leader of pack amongst your peers. It brought you this surreal sense of exhilaration that motivated you to continue over and over again in your unlawful ways. Acting on instinct alone always felt so right, but so wrong at the same time. Sometimes your mind would fight, telling you to hold back and resist giving in to temptation, but other times there would be no filters and you would run free letting life take its course.

Although as an adult you become better at making responsible decisions and learn how to control these ‘crossing the line’ urges, the certain thrill of throwing out the rule book still lingers in you unconsciously; and every now and then you find yourself wanting to just forget the consequences of your actions and ”live in the moment’.

What is it about breaking rules that provides us with an unnatural influx of happiness? Is it that rush we get from doing something we know we shouldn’t be doing, or is it simply us just moving to the beat of our own drum? Are we being true to ourselves when we stay within our boundaries?

In adolescence we’re surrounded by boundaries as a necessary means of control. But as we grow up to be adults, we define the guidelines. We’ve paid our dues in earning trust to make good decisions and we hold a greater understanding between fictional happiness versus real happiness, yet there seems to still always be a grey muddled area, where your conscious and mind battle between what’s right, and what feels right.

How do we decipher between crossing the line and living life to its fullest?

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2 thoughts on “Boundaries

  1. i will share my way to decipher between the two in person. i thought long and hard about it once upon a time and came up with a system…that i fall short of at times, but works none the less. it made life less complicated 🙂

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