Never have I moved this much and never have I moved with so much energy. I am my brown leather shoes, worn out but broken in. My feet are sore but I tread for hours on the city streets and take to the direction of the wind, exhausted and yet animated. For with every step I feel like I’m unveiling more and more of the distance I can cover and I see now that there is no horizon I can’t walk to. I feel like a conqueror. A foreign invader sailing toward shores that should have already been mine. I am no longer shackled by a condition rendered to me mightily. I am no longer shackled by anything. No force trammels me to a standstill. No longer do I feel suspended in the air. I am with my freedom.
Let me explain: I had never been a very confident person. I had bravado, I had a clear sense of self, but both these things simply worked to mask my deepest inhibitions. In other words, I appeared unafraid, simply to appear not afraid.
Before recently, my life was dedicated to keeping up appearances and to maintain a certain image. I was afraid of many things. Afraid of riding against the current. Of drowning. Fear drove me to think and rethink myself over and over again, rather than focus on what can be done.
To sail, to spread my arms and to dash against the raging waters. To willfully rise or to willingly fall. That was, to me, what freedom was all about. A right I’ve come to hold so dear.
For many times, more times already than I can count with my hands, I had run after this freedom. I chased after it, relentlessly pursued it, and felt it as it deftly brushed my fingertips before it moved somewhere out of my reach. Each time, I told myself that there’ll come a time, when I could captain myself – and freedom wouldn’t be so difficult to catch. All I had to really do, in the meantime, was wait. There was a plan to follow. There was an image to keep. But sooner or later, when I’m in a different scenario, I could be free to be who I really am.
If I’ll be a little less vague with my story, you’ll probably understand why I stuck so long to that image. To the plan of just waiting it out. There was convenience involved. Everything was so well organized, arranged, and just anticipating for me. I only had to set my sails up and let the wind guide me to wherever it wished for me to go.
However, what everyone who has ever given me advice can’t seem to understand is the great discontentment in the process of all the waiting. The great vacancy I felt while in the motion of a plan that’s taking way too long. Have you ever woken up to a morning finding yourself feeling empty, lost, and pointless? I take a quick shower, dress in whatever clothes appear first in the closet, and yawn as I force breakfast and coffee down my throat. One morning I find myself in this exact same routine, only to stop in front of a mirror, hair tussled, polo crumpled, my face desolate, I asked the dreaded question: “Is this it?”
Ready to walk, swim, crawl, and suffer for my life on my own terms. Today I walked from one city to another. Tomorrow, I can attempt to rule the world. Freedom will mean I will have to assert myself against nature, swimming wave after wave across the unknown, but it’s a start – because now, it means I can start to find myself a place I can call my own, a place that’s really mine. A place I can call a home.