How to: get out of your “bell tower”

By Laura Formisano

I sometimes go to an imaginary, alternate world when I’m feeling down or not entirely sure of myself (and that’s sometimes more often than not.) I think we all have these places. My roommate affectionately coined this place I frequently call my “bell tower,” likening me to some princess or damsel in distress, feeling hopeless, helpless and utterly depressed at my current situation, trapped in a tall stone tower, a la Rapunzel. There have been many times when she’s bellowed at me, “Get OUT of your bell tower!”

We all, male and female, have our own versions of my bell tower. The bell tower is a state of mind, where we’re bound by our own shackles of insecurity, self doubt, and unwillingness to take action, yet we blame our imprisonment upon the opposite sex (or the current object of our affection). Maybe this lingo sounds a bit melodramatic, but it still rings true — we often cause and create many problems within our interpersonal relationships with these problems that could be easily remedied by throwing caution to the wind and jumping out the bell tower. And most importantly, if we stopped waiting around for Prince (or Princess) Charming in their shiny armor to save us.

This is not to say that sometimes the people in question are absolved of any sort of guilt — the problems often faced in the bell tower are not always self-created, but they can be at least helped by the person staring at you in the mirror. Many times we’re frustrated because a boyfriend/girlfriend, crush, object of lust, etc. is doing something wrong, but while we’re wasting away in the bell tower, helpless, there is always the small chance that he or she does not know what he or she is doing wrong. We complain people treat us horribly, but if we never say anything or reprimand them, how could we expect anything less if we continually let them get away with it? How is anyone supposed to telepathically know we wished he would call more often if we don’t suggest it? Of course, they may always say, “Take a hike. No,” and while that may be sad, at least we’ve been sprung from the infamous bell tower, and that has to count for something.

Obviously, swallowing one’s pride and asking the question, is much easier said than done. I sometimes feel like a fraud, peddling my advice when I cannot even count how many times I’ve locked myself in the bell tower. Sometimes, the anticipation of wondering whether or not to ask a question can be worse than actually asking it, but such is the workings of life.

We all have our own version of the bell tower. Often times, we know the truth deep down and know what should be done, but the bell tower restricts us. The next time you’re faced with indecision, just think of the bell tower. Think of a way to break it down, stone by stone. Jump out the window, and hope for the best.