I recently made a comment on how I always feel like I don’t fit in with people/places. For as long as I can remember, I have always felt out of place. I have always been a seeker—a lone wolf. Now, I am moving to a new town in few days. It’s the second major move that I have made in my life. With all moves and changes, there is a time of reflection. One thing I always reflect upon is the people I have met over time. Let me preface before going further: I have a BIG personality. Whether it’s from my New England raising (I am originally from Boston, Massachusetts) or whether it’s because I am a Scorpio born the day of All Souls---I am ambitious, fearless and not afraid of trying and failing.
Two years ago, I moved to a relatively small town in Arizona. Mind you this was after living 33 years in a major city! I thought I would be ok in a small town---I needed to be somewhere that was not oversaturated with big personalities—as is the case in most big cities. I learned after about a year that small town living isn’t for me. I began to feel like I was suffocating—and boredom for a city girl sets in quick. Small town living can’t satisfy my personal, spiritual or creative needs. As I tried to embrace my situation I began to reflect on the people I have met on my life journey thus far. The more I reflected—the more I realize that a lot of people suffer from CBS—CAGED BIRD SYNDROME.
CBS is not just a small-town thing (though it seems more prevalent since everything in a small town is a bit compact). I knew people back East who suffered from the same disorder- and my friendships with them would be over in a blink of an eye. I could never figure that out—but then I realized that whole “it’s not you it’s me”—really was true. It is ME. I just can’t relate. My whole life has been an adventure thus far. Not all adventures have been super fantastic-but they have been a part of my life and continue to shape who I am becoming. And I can’t stay in a place, situation, relationship, etc. where I don’t feel like I can grow. I approach life with the mind set of an employee—If there is no room for growth—I am not going to stay. And this is true in my relationships and friendships.
And there are so many people who have CBS that it makes me sad. I understand it’s their life not mine, but it makes me sad when I see so many people who have so much potential not grab life by the balls because they are stuck and afraid. Whether it’s a personal cage (unhappy marriage, bad job, troubled relationship, financial issues) or spiritual and emotional stagnation that has them caged-the fear of what’s outside the cage is sad. If the cage door swung open—and the bird had a chance to fly—how far would it go? How does a beautiful bird in a cage feel when it sees the other wild birds fly?
I had a friend who was an amazing dancer. She was beautiful and captivating. When she was on stage- you couldn’t stop watching her. One time we were at dinner and she told me that if she hadn’t gotten married—she would have done so much more with her dance career. I remember that night so vividly. She wanted so badly to spread her wings, but she couldn’t. It wasn’t that she didn’t love her husband—she just had wished that he appreciated her love of dance as much as she did. Rather, he clipped her wings. Or did she allow him to?
The cage is a boundary that both, people put around themselves and that other people put around them. It creates a limitation and prevents them from being who they are. I have seen what the confines of a cage does to people. And I see the fear they must break free. The fear isn’t about breaking free---the fear is what happens once the cage door is open. The caged bird gets so used to the cage, that it knows of nothing else. The habit is hard to break. The bird gets used to the feelings- to the hand that feeds it. It starts to lose its wild nature and embrace the metal container it’s found itself in.
I hate when I meet people who has so much more to offer the world than what they are currently doing. To see unknown potential sitting there. I try to always encourage those people to spread their wings- even if their feathers still touch the cage. Its why I love being the one who opens doors for people. I love seeing people have a moment where they can break free and recognize that there is more to them than they thought. The hardest part for me is watching them go back to the cage. They flew for a moment-and then it’s over.
And that is why I will never fit in. I am a wild bird. I can’t have my wings clipped. I can’t be set inside a boundary. I think in part, because I am not caged, some find it hard to swallow-that I can just pack up my things and move forward. I realize that the world is a lot bigger than just me—a lot bigger than a cage. And just like a wild bird---my nature is to fly.