Rule Follower to Rule Breaker

In my late teens/early 20s, my mom shared her amazement with me.  She commented that I followed the rules – and did what I was supposed to do – when no one else was able to follow through or able to act on their own advice.  She was in awe, amazement, fascination, and confusion as to how I could do it.

I was a rule-follower.  I wanted everyone to be happy.  I wanted God’s approval.  So I followed the rules.  I am no longer a strict rule-follower because I see its advantages and its detriments.  I appreciate looking at issues from as many angles as possible.  Rules typically don’t allow for that.  They’re a good starting point, but every successful person became successful by thinking – and acting – “outside the box.”

As soon as I became a rule breaker, I had to fend for myself.  I was in, then I was out.  My mom was alive, then dead, and I was immediately on my own.  I became a rule-breaker.

As a rule-follower and literalist, I believed and followed the directions and instructions of what I was told at home and from the pulpit.  Ironically, the ideas I followed related to obtaining an education and career are typically no longer practiced because of its sheer inconvenience and impossibility.

After my mom died, I abandoned the rules and sought an education followed by a career.  I’m still in the process of the final attainment of both.  I’ve also found ways to “think ouside the box.”  I had become – and still am – a rule-breaker.

I’m very grateful for exposure to “the rules.”  However, I’m also grateful for being a persistent rule-breaker when it comes to pursuing an education and career.  I’ll earn and gain both eventually.  In the meantime, it has been an intense – yet fulfilling – pursuit attained by breaking the rules.


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