Freedom is a top priority for me. Freedom is owning my time and choices. Seems simple enough, but what does that entail? Owning time costs money, as does owning choices. You can control the extent to which it does by managing expenses and living frugally, but there is always a necessary base level of financial security that needs to be met in order to truly make decisions without financial consequences playing a role. If you extend yourself outside that base level, outside your comfort zone; whether to fund work, new businesses, possessions, or play, you risk losing the very thing you set out to create. Freedom.
I’ve made waste of freedom in the pursuit of it. I work for myself, yet currently I’m sitting in my office staring out the window wishing I was outside enjoying the day. My pursuit of freedom has cost me time and money, resulting in debt, and now my time is no longer my own.
I’ve spent the last 15 years dreaming of my ideal life; an abundance of freedom, time, money, flexibility, and adventures. Yet, time has passed and I haven’t realized those dreams. Some yes, and I am grateful, but there is still an emptiness in my soul indicating I haven’t lived the life I’m meant to live. I haven’t fully pursued the life I want to live. Rather, I’ve been living somewhere between the life I want to live and the one I believed I was supposed to live. The life you’re supposed to live is dictated by your family, history, education, social pressures, all pushing you in one direction or another. The life you want to live comes only from listening to your Self, pursuing what truly makes you happy. Society has created a blueprint for us; school, more school, marriage, house, dog, 2 cars, 2 kids, all while working 9-5 waiting for weekends and your 2 weeks vacation. This blueprint has the median household debt hovering at $70,000. Freedom doesn’t exist in this plan, you can’t be truly free if you owe someone your money, your time.
I’m not saying the above mentioned blueprint is wrong. If it’s what you truly desire for yourself then pursue it with all your heart. However, many of us don’t fit that mold. I don’t. Most of my hiccups in life have come when I try to force myself down that path. Often I don’t realize it isn’t what I want until the damage is done. I’m euphorically happy for a short period, but then my gut kicks in telling me it isn’t what I want. It isn’t going to work. It isn’t me. “Fitting in” has taken me down the wrong path again.
I have a habit of sacrificing my freedom in the pursuit of someone else’s plan, because I don’t have a clear vision of my own. As a result I’ve spent the only currency I can never get back, time. Money can be made again, debts can be paid off eventually, but they cost time. Time is no longer mine.
I believe in work, freedom for me isn’t the absence of work so I can just play. Freedom is balancing work and play, and most importantly doing work that is meaningful to me. Work shouldn’t be chasing money so one day I can have freedom, it should afford me freedom and fulfillment now.
So, again I’m at the crossroads. Decisions need to be made, good habits formed, bad habits changed. Again I need to simplify my life, take care of some issues I’ll write about in a future post, develop plans that focus on pursuing what brings me joy and vitality, and begin making decisions based on my priorities; freedom, time, meaningful work. Not money so I can pursue those things later, I’m running out of later. You?