Before, i used to yearn for "Freedom" a lot. Freedom to do what i want, Freedom to go out without being questioned too much. It's true - i did think of life in its simplest term, without wondering about the other stuff connected to "freedom" and the term "independence".
Even now that i am working, i still have this idealistic view of the world. Should i want to do something, it is possible. Well, it is possible, but it is not the fast forward kind of end result that we see like in the movies. Movies are too fast forward, limited by the one-hour to two-hour time limit. But our life can span years, and results of work and effort actually take time. Time has been going much quickly lately, yet each moment, second,minute,hour and day has to pass, until months and years complete themselves. Just like now, it's hard to believe, but yes, I am 30 years old. Time flew by. So imagine, there are certain life-changing events and decisions that won't just get completed in just a day. Most would take months or even years. Some take most of a lifetime to prepare for. Plus, we have to take into account the realistic side of life - finances and logistics(lodging, food, etc...). Now, life ain't as easy as we once they were. Life won't stay the same, change will surely come. They come slowly, or they come in one big leap. However much we want everything to stay the same, well, something will change. Some are easier to adjust and adapt to. Others are so big that it takes you by surprise, jolting you with confusion until you are able to make sense of it and slowly make your way through.
So i ask myself, "what is freedom?" I believe that despite the general definition of freedom being "doing things without restraint", every single person may have a different interpretation and take on it. There are certain freedoms that we have that others would like to have, and vice versa. There is financial freedom, physical freedom, emotional freedom....
I will use myself as an example. I work for a non-profit organization. I have to admit that had it not been for my parents supporting me, i wouldn't be able to last long and fend for myself with the salary one gets from a non-profit org. Even if i want to go out and leave on my own, there is too much to consider, and after deducting rent, electricity, water, i might not have enough for food and transportation anymore. There goes financial freedom. Based on this, i definitely have to look for a better paying job. But having not practiced my degree in IT (i really don't want to do programming because the program/code from these projects tend to run over and over again in my mind. i can't sleep properly, and if i don't sleep properly, well, expect me being lethargic the next day), I fear that i won't be able to find a good job. I don't have financial security at all, to some degree.
Another point in my life is with regard to going out on my free time. Not to sound ungrateful to my parents, but going out is actually somewhat hard for me to do. I guess it depends on the activity. If it is something to do with family, even if it is last minute or on the spot, they allow me to go out with no problem at all. But when it is an activity that's somewhat foreign sounding to them, or if it relates to people that they don't quite like, despite these people being good friends of mine who are really kind despite being different, well, expect things to get a little harder and hammered with so many questions. It's usually because of the latter that i have a hard time telling them that i am going out to do this and that, or to go out with this and that. I feel constricted this way. And usually, my mom will really make me feel that she is unhappy about it. i don't want her to always get worked up like that. I also get worked up too, before and after letting them know of my plans. Even if i don't have any physical chains that lock me inside the house, there are invisible ones that hold on to my heart and mind. I stay home begrudgingly at times because i don't want to make trouble. I thread carefully so that i will not cause a ripple of unhappiness. But it is so tiring. I complain, but i can't even fight for myself. There is respect and there is fear for my mom. Usually, it is fear that permeates from me. I fear that what i say and do next may jeopardize my future chances. so you see, i am not chained from the outside, but i am chained within.
To others, this isn't an issue. To others, this has been unheard of. Again, "what is freedom?" Each one of us will definitely have a different answer with regard to ourselves. Some others can say it easily that i just need more freedom. Some others will understand why i am still here. But in the end, there will be a choice i have to make. I have to get ready for whatever may follow once the decision is made.
Of course, i yearn to break free of these bonds. Though at the start, it may seem that my parents have inflicted this on me, but upon longer reflection, it is actually myself that placed these limits on myself. If i am afraid to move forward, then i'll definitely won't be able to move forward even a step at all. In my mind, i can't break free of what i think they'll think of me. If it remains that way, always wanting them approve everything, well, i'll always be in the same place. If i don't speak, they won't understand. If i do speak up, how will they take it? Again, am I ready for a big change should things get explosive? I pray that things may go peacefully well. My mind is filled with fears, even up to the minutest details. I've always been that way. I want to be needed, i want to be useful. It's because of this fear that i am able to prepare for the worst. But it is also this very same fear that prevents me from getting out of my own rut and holds me back. Funny, i don't want to let go of Fear? even if it is keeping me back from what i aspire and love, and from the people that i care for? How ironic. Yes, it's a big question in life - how i can treat myself this way.
I do wonder from time to time, after the strong urge to break free softens, if being where i am right now is so bad. there is also a sense of freedom that can be found in contentment. When things are going well, everything peaceful, i think this way. Yet when things start to heat up again, well, you guessed it, i want to get away as soon as i can. THat is, until reality hits me in the head, and i am reminded of my currently personal financial situation. Yes, reality strikes back to wake you up.
I've never been one to rush. I make more mistakes and bad choices that way. For now, i'll stick to doing things one at a time. First, to make my diet a success, and to keep myself healthy and in that ideal weight for thereon forth. When i can take care of myself in that area, i'll go for what's next up my list: my self-sufficiency. If i become self-sufficient, there's nothing else to be afraid of anymore. because if i can achieve those two, that means i can do it and other things that i want to achieve in my life. And that would mean i can stand on my own feet, take care of myself and take care of others.
One at a time. Yes. And through it all, never forget to smile and to laugh. Slowly but surely, i'll get there, piece by piece. If i can't enjoy the small things, how am i going to be able to cherish the bigger things that come my way? Plus, it is easier to move on forward with a lighter heart that has learned from past burdens. It's not cliche when they say that the small things make up the big things. Our Life is made up of every moment, how minute they might be.
When little things in life are able to make you smile, it is already a big thing. :)