Something has shifted for me recently, and I have become very aware of my freedom. I’ve come to value this new-found freedom above everything else that used to drive me – more money, more success, more clothes, more travel, more… more. Now that I have it and I’m aware of it, I’m very protective of it, keenly aware of how easy it would be to relinquish.
I have a wonderful life with everything I need and for the most part want. We live in a lively town on the beach in a country we love. But sometimes I think it would be nice to have a car to drive around the Mayan Riviera, or a bigger apartment with a pool, or… nope, they are about the only two things I find myself thinking about sometimes! Whilst there’s nothing wrong with having those things, it would mean spending my time working on projects that don’t inspire me or make me happy and I’m just not willing, at this stage of my life, to do that.
My time and my creatively-driven life, as well as my personal inner journey of growth and renewal, are my priorities today, and I’m no longer willing to compromise them to gain material things.
I’m aware that life may not always be like this, that things change, and so will my values. Change has been the only constant in my life so far, and always will be. Nothing is set in stone or lasts forever, which is, I guess, why I am reveling in this moment of awareness that I am absolutely, 100% free. I have no bills except the rent on our humble apartment, no debt, no job to attend and no social norm to adhere to.
It really is a strange concept for me. I mean surely in life you have to do things you don’t want to do, right? That has definitely been the case for me so far, especially leading up to this indefinite travel adventure. It seemed like all I was doing were things I didn’t want to in order to achieve this dream.
Even for the first year of travel, I had a blast, but I was never truly free. I still held on to a lingering fear of failure, of needing to prove something to myself that kept me trapped. I was on the road to freedom, but I had things to do first, to achieve, to learn. Starting this blog was the main thing I thought I was destined to fail at, and yet the world kept giving me beautiful, funny, ridiculous stories to tell.
I continued down the path and kept plugging away through the negativity, trying to ignore the voice of impending doom that asked me who I thought I was and what right did I have to want something other than what most people I knew wanted.
“A man needs a little madness, or else he never dares cut the rope and be free.”
– Zorba the Greek
This year, settled down in one place, I started out with a to do list as long as my arm, with a few small tasks on it, like, ‘Write a Book,’ but I’ve since learned to find perfection in the moment, to realise that right now is exactly as it is meant to be, and that right now I am absolutely free. My happiness is not dependent on achieving anything other than doing my best with what I have today.
I guess this goes against the ‘dream + work = achieve’ model that I read about so much on the internet these days. When I’m reading something written by one of these so called ‘highly successful’ people who make a living telling other people how to become ‘highly successful’, I often think, “I wonder if they’re happy.” I wonder what their day looks like and if they have time to relax, to ponder, to be.
Right now, sitting at my computer in my rented studio apartment in Mexico, I have no choice but to believe that the universe has greater plans for me than I could ever dream up. Living in Playa del Carmen was never on my list of things to do, never my major goal in life, and yet, this place has allowed me a greater feeling of connectedness and freedom than I ever thought possible.
I am, of course, my greatest enemy at times. Old habits die hard, and I am occasionally struck with the desire for more. But then I realise I could have more if I really wanted, but at what cost? At the cost of my freedom, certainly. At the cost of the vast expanse of time I have which funnily enough, I manage to fill quite nicely with eating, writing, yoga, movies and the beach, thanks very much!
I am not, by nature, a free spirit. I’m a worrier, a control freak and a chronic people pleaser. Letting go and trusting in the universe’s plan for me is not my default setting, nor is being content with what I have rather than continually striving for more. I still need some practice.
I’m just grateful that today I can choose to live my life the way I want, right now. Right now, I am absolutely, completely, perfectly, free.