Isabel Martin-Horvath

I love boxes. Growing up, whenever I was given a gift, I would be more amazed at the box than the gift itself. I have no idea where my fascination came from, but I do know that there are so many things you can do with these amazing contraptions. It provides a blank slate for the imagination to cover. Various size boxes have different types of functions. If it was small, it could be turned into a piece of furniture for a doll house. It can be painted and be used to store various items. Now, it’s a different story if it was big enough that I can fit into.
            Big boxes are the types of boxes that can transport you into a different world. For some reason, I have two distinct memories of this type of box. One was giant and had an excellent square shape to it that I transformed into a tiny home. I carved out a functioning front door as well as a couple windows with shutters. I have to say, it was my most magnificent design yet. It was big enough for me to move around in and I could spend hours comfortably existing within its walls. Whatever was happening on the outside, it couldn’t reach me, I was seemingly transported into a different world inside as the only thing that was allowed in was myself and whatever my imagination could manifest. I felt as if I can do anything.
            My second memory was of a box that was just big enough that I could lay down inside of it. I made sure that it was as comfortable as it could possibly be. There were blankets galore, and just the right amount of pillows. Every wall was filled with doodles as I filled my time with sketching on its walls while I lay inside.  It was a safe haven. A tool to keep me sheltered from anything and everything.
            Unfortunately, these boxes weren't as durable as I wanted them to be. Eventually, as I existed within their walls, they began to deteriorate. Spiders found homes in them as well, the structure couldn't keep itself together, and I was starting to get too big to fit inside them. I used all my efforts at the time to try to keep them, but eventually, my parents threw them out, as they could not serve their purpose any longer.
            Growing up, I can no longer fit into most typical boxes anymore. Maybe it was instinctual, but I found new types of boxes. However, these weren't like the boxes from before. These were invisible. They were conjured almost involuntarily,  only existing within my mind. They keep me safe, and within them, I feel secure. I can hide within them whenever I see fit.  I could be bored, or I could be scared, no matter the circumstance, these boxes are there. The system I had integrated into worked smoothly at the time. It was everything I needed. They can dictate my actions and fill out the roles I need to play for any situation. However, as time passed and my environment and circumstances around me changed, these boxes were starting to do more harm than good. It wasn't me against the world, it was me hiding from it. I began to realize that I was being held back. I was stuck in a shell I made for myself, never truly understanding it. It took me some time, but I started to accept the reality of my situation. Just like the physical boxes from the past, they no longer served the purpose they were made for, and because of this, they needed to be thrown away. This was easier said than done. 
            I am grateful I came to RHP. Being in a safe and nurturing environment has definitely made my journey of escaping the numerous boxes I find myself in a much easier process than if I were to be anywhere else. Thanks to my supportive teachers and friends, slowly I was able to start accomplishing this task. If I was anywhere else, I would probably have built twice as many boxes that I have now, and I'm forver grateful that this isn’t the case. My journey isn’t over yet, but I’m glad I have gained experiences that helped me shape who I am today. I don’t know how long it will take, but I know, that my time here was not a waste.