Most people grow up in a bubble. A protective bubble where inside they are told how to live their lives. They are told what they should do and how they should do it. They are even told how and what to think. Many people allow every aspect of their lives to be controlled without them even realizing it. For many, it is allowed because they simply don’t know any better. The fear of going outside of what they know has controlled them and has kept them within their bubble.
I too once lived inside of a bubble. I spent my childhood in there. It was an amazing childhood and I thought our world around me was great as well. As I got older I started to see how things really were in our world. I was then told, “That’s the world we live in. It’s just the way it is.” I blindly accepted this as a valid reason for how we treat each other because at the time I honestly didn’t know any better.
I was comfortable. I was a white boy (thinking they were straight) living in a nice house with my nice family. There was no reason to question things, unless it was to question those who did question things. It was blind ignorance.
Then one day my protective bubble suddenly shattered. It was the day I realized that I was gay. I literally remember it feeling like my entire life collapsed in an instant. Suddenly nothing made sense anymore. I felt lost, confused, and completely alone.
I was so fearful of going outside of my protective bubble that even after it shattered I still stayed well within the perimeter of where the bubble was. In fact, I hid. I became quiet and shy out of fear that people would discover that my bubble was gone and that I was different. I was afraid of being judged. I was afraid of being treated differently and being rejected by others.
As I became an adult I realized that I was literally creating my own personal hell. I suddenly realized that I had no choice but to embrace life outside of the bubble. I then slowly made steps outside of the perimeter, going further and further away from my comfort zone.
As time went on I realized something absolutely incredible. Life was infinitely times better outside of the bubble. I felt free and that a heavy burden was finally off my shoulders.
Throughout the process of leaving my bubble I went through a period were I thought deeply about many things in life. I began to question everything and found that many things had no clear answer. The idea of that used to scare me. The idea of the unknown is a very daunting and terrifying concept to many.
I realized that it was much better to embrace the infinite possibilities of life, instead of freaking out and being scared in the thought process that there needed to be a solution to everything. I began thinking of life as having no limits. Instead of living life in fear, I decided to love more and be grateful. With this new mindset, I began to reclaim my true power.
I discovered that the secret to having control in life is to allow yourself to loose control. I found that when you allow yourself to loose control of everything and you fully face your life’s biggest fears, you find out what really matters in life. You start to care less about what everyone else is doing and what they have or don’t have. You start seeing others as yourself. You become consciously aware of a very obvious concept: We are all human.
When I went through this process I started to think about things completely different. I started to see the way I treated myself before I left the perimeter of my bubble. I saw the life I had before my bubble shattered, versus my life now. I began to see clearly how we treat others who are different from ourselves.
The social injustice in our world has been and still is very vast and absolutely horrible. The sad part is that I didn’t see all of it before. I was blinded by my own comfort zone. My unwillingness to face my fears was also my unwillingness to see the inhumane ways of our world. It was naive. It was stubbornness. It was complacency.
I’ve learned a lot over the last couple years. I continue to learn and will always be learning because like many other things, learning is infinite. I’ve learned not to listen to those who feel the need to tell you how you should or shouldn’t live your life. I also no longer listen to things that create fear. Instead, I listen to the stories and experiences of other people. I allow myself to challenge my thinking and be a free thinker. Most importantly, I use my heart to create my own conclusions.
My bubble may be gone, but many others still live inside of theirs. I feel it is important to respect and understand this. You can’t force people out of their bubble. The more you force, the stronger their bubble will become. Instead, inspire them. Live by example. People can only leave their bubble on their own terms. People do change and they do evolve. However, you can’t do it for them.
Focus on yourself. Focus on our world. Fight for yourself, and fight for our world (including everyone, not just a few). However, always make sure you put yourself first. This isn’t because you’re selfish, but because you can’t truly help our world unless you have truly helped yourself first.
K.P. Gatti – 06.15.18