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Someone once called me a free spirit. I laughed at him affectionately and brushed away the comment. To me, a free spirit signified a confident, floating spirit who soared through life and all its multi-coloured paths. I so wanted to be one that I presumed I couldn’t possibly be. I also used to think that free spirits couldn’t settle, were always in a state of slight discontent. I never wanted to be that soul either. There was a contradiction in the term that I couldn’t settle in my heart.

On my flight from home to home, I pondered over it more and wondered why such a passing comment seemed to have struck such a chord. Then I realised. I’ve come all the way to the other side of the world to realise that, in my own little way, it’s true. I am a free spirit (by the way, it was RIDICULOUSLY hard to type that).

Now that I fight each day for visas and jobs and all things stable, I fight not for putting down roots as I assumed, but for building a base from which I may fly and return safely each time.

I used to think I craved a thing called home so that I could stop. I don’t. I crave a home from which I can assimilate the abundant mysteries of the rest of the world. I want a home from which I can sometimes go thrive in unfamiliarity, knowing that I’ve a familiar place in which to rest after. I used to think I had to physically be on the move to achieve that. But I’ve come to realise that freedom to me isn’t being flighty, nor dissatified with where I rest my head night after night after night. My bucket list comprises not of homely achievements but places to go, things to see and experience and challenge myself through at home and abroad.

What lifts my spirit is the ability to set off on paths anew, whether they be spiritual, geographical or intellectual. I understand now I may never see the whole world but I will always strike my own path, with the blessing of those who love me. Things that inspire me to work are things that allow others to grow through seeing difference. I photograph the ordinary because I know there is a world of extraordinary out there that is just ordinary to someone else.

My sense of freedom comes from believing I can see new horizons when I choose. My first step is realising how lucky I am to have those choices in the first place. The second is to understand how much quotes like the ones here resonates. The third will be to keep living my freedom, not worrying that it signifies something wrong with my present, instead knowing that it brings a greater depth to it.

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