I’ve been called several things in my day, some that I particularly appreciate being, hippie, gypsy (not in the derogatory way, I’ve worked with refugees in Macedonia, get out of my face), and wanderer. All of those I suppose carry with them one or two unsavory descriptors, but for the most part, I don’t mind the implications people are making by attributing them to me. The part I particularly appreciate? The connotation in each of these of a care-free spirit, or just freedom in general. I like thinking that I appreciate and enjoy the unknown, that I am inclined to “live in the sunshine” and “drink the wild air”.
But, recently something strange happened. This unknown became a lot more prominent in my life. And I’ve found that when I’m truly free, truly unbound and wild and care-free, I’m uncomfortable. With so much space and time to be wild, I’m tame; with boundless limits, I’m actually pigeon-holing myself. All this time spent being satisfied with the idea of being a free spirit and it seems I’m close to incapable of actually achieving any sort of mental freedom from myself.
So then, I must obviously ask myself (or if you’re a reader who’s worth anything, you must ask me), why? What exactly is it that makes me feel so uncomfortable and unaccepting of this potential greatness I’ve stumbled into? Of course I want to blame society, this culture that’s created a need for perfectly packaged linear plans, things that are explainable, and stability on its terms. But is that fair? They can create a system, sure, but must I operate within it? I’m not sure that the answer is “yes”. However, I’m not sure that it isn’t either.
All I’m really saying is nothing. And by “nothing” of course I mean I’m saying that I don’t actually know anything. I’m yet again, only making observations without any conclusions or answers while living perplexed by this realization that I don’t have near the propensity for freedom that I have tricked myself into thinking I did.
I think I want it though. The Romantic within me still thinks it would be just charming, to live freely, unaffected by the whims of people around you, to find joy in sunshine and wild air. So now, I suppose I begin to discipline myself, until I have practiced the discomfort and trust from my linear, first-world, middle class brain.
I’ll let you know what survives.