As children we’re like puppies on a leash. Generally, we’re cute and cuddly. We’re fun to play with, though sometimes annoying. We’re easily amused by the slightest distractions. And though we sometimes pee on the carpet, we’re usually a joy to be around. There are more things we don’t know than things that we do. There are lessons yet to be learned, sure, but there still remains plenty of time for those. We’re naïve and innocent, but we’re giddy and gleeful. We often attempt to run away, perhaps in pursuit of a dream, or perhaps in pursuit of nothing more than a butterfly. But either way, we’re yanked back by the leash; the leash that’s being held by our parents, or immaturity, or perhaps it’s just blissful ignorance.
Soon, however, we will graduate from puppy to kite. As adolescents we’re like kites on a string. We’re bright and bold. We’re interesting, if but for a short time. We’re rather sharp around the edges. And we helplessly flail in the breeze, following trends like gusts of wind that we can’t avoid. Thankfully, we’re unique. There are no two of us alike, though we all look quite similar. Most of us learn that it’s okay, in fact good, to be different. When you’re unafraid to bear your own colors, you stand out in the crowded sky. But nonetheless, we’re still young. There are still things we’ve yet to figure out, like how to break free from the string that tethers us. We struggle in the wind and likewise against the string; the string that’s being held by our peers, or society, or perhaps by our numerous fears.
Eventually, though, we will move on from kite to satellite. As adults we’re like satellites orbiting the earth. We’re all grown-up. We’re inventive and complicated. We’re intellectual and sometimes groundbreaking. But we’re also predictable. We’re programmable, even. We like to think that we’re discovering new worlds when we’re actually going in circles. We pride ourselves on choosing the path that we chose for ourselves, and on breaking free. But too often the path is chosen for us, and we are anything but free. We follow the lines and the orbits just like everyone else out there, circling mindlessly, unaware that we’re still being tethered. We may be out of this world, seeing sights that we never before imagined, but we’re still being pulled in by gravity; the gravity that’s being held by nothing but ourselves.
Regardless of what it might actually be, we’re all being tethered. It might be a something, it might be a someone, or it might even be a somewhere. We might know exactly what it is, or we might not have the slightest clue. It may appear as obvious as a leash or a string. Or it may be less obvious, like gravity. Often, the last hurdle that we have to clear, the hardest hold that we have to break, is none other than our own grasp. Nevertheless, there comes a point where we have to take hold of that which is holding us, and break free.