Personal stories: Breaking Free

Varun 3 years and 11 months ago
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I mean it when I say that you aren't alone. Below is a personal story from a friend, nicknamed Temujin, as he tries to move forward with developing himself. Does this story sound familiar? - Varun

Breaking Free

This past month, I’ve been working on simplifying my life. I’ve always wanted to attend graduate school and to get away from living at home, but there are entrenched forces that have been subtly holding me back. These forces are comprised of well-meaning people and they include my family, friends, community, and current job. There is nothing inherently wrong with my current life, but without a change my personal growth will definitely be inhibited. Becoming cognizant of these subtle obstacles is the first challenge to breaking free.

truman_showAfter watching the Truman Show, it all made sense in my mind. Sometimes our environment and all that we love have an inherent interest in keeping us in a box. The Truman Show is about a baby that was adopted by a corporation, raised in front of a television audience (unbeknownst to him), and surrounded by actors that portrayed themselves as his family and friends. Truman was kept behind the world’s largest television studio, which was essentially an entire coastal town with a simulated environment. Throughout the film Truman’s longing to reach a past love, who supposedly moved to Fiji, grows stronger and stronger as his “family” and “friends” all try to stop him from finding his lover, learning his true identity, and discovering what lies beyond the walls of his quaint town.

Sometimes these entrenched and well-meaning interests come in the form of family. Although I do love my family, they have a vested interest for me to play everything “safe” and are overly reliant on me. It is honorable to take care of one’s family, but there must be a limit, and there must be a plan to hand responsibilities over to someone else so that everyone can grow no matter how temporarily uncomfortable it may be.

Other times these entrenched forces come in the form of friends. Once a group of people have a perspective of you, it is tough for them to picture in a different light and they may get uncomfortable if you seek personal growth. These friends could mean well or they could be downright toxic. The well-meaning friends may simply discourage you from going to graduate school out of concern over the debt load that you will probably incur. The toxic friends will keep encouraging you to go to the bar every day and will pull you down with them much like a bunch of crabs stuck in a barrel.

The key to breaking out is to reach a sense of situational awareness and to acknowledge that in order to grow, you must break free from the system.

- Temujin

Do you have your own story to share? E-mail me at and we can get it online. Anonymous/pseudoanonymous contributions are welcome. If you have something on your mind, you could even chat with me right now: