My best friend told me 10 years ago that the primary force in me was hunger for freedom. It’d difficult and probably misleading to try to explain what freedom means to me.
Rather, I try to give an account of my greatest moments of freedom. (You might have realized that the last articles were very personal. I have been writing a book about my own life experiences and these articles will be used for it. It’ll end relatively soon. You’re stuck with the very personal stuff for now though.)
Freedom from love – I can clearly remember the moment when I first felt free. A simple walk from home on the same street I’d take every day. And yet another sunny day with my 15 year old body suddenly becoming hopeful, healthy – and as easy as a feather taken by the warm spring breeze.
All of it happened inside my head but I finally let love, suffer, depressive and suicidal thoughts levitate away. Finally, I could define myself a young, positive, conscious teen, ready for life. That walk was a true beginning of a new era.
Freedom from home: travel – travel has become a synonym for freedom. And while traveling is freedom from the everyday routine, you often choose other, limiting ideas: (company, guidebooks, highlights, tick off places / countries from some imaginary list, etc.): because really being free from all constraints is just frightening. It’s a serious moment alone with the universe. Most people would pay plenty to avoid this.
But travel still holds way more chances to experience freedom than being at home. I remember biking in Transylvania, not sticking to the group on a perfect summer day, admiring the landscape. I didn’t think of the past or the future, just immersed fully in the present. One of those moments when you exactly know that you are at the best place at the best time in the universe.
Another moment was crossing the Polish-Lithuanian border by bike, alone. Lithuania was a place back then that none of my friends have ever been (or considered going). Lithuania was very far from Hungary. And I made it there alone, by bicycle, riding for more than 10 days North. It was a beautiful sunset that I couldn’t enjoy because of masses of mosquitoes. Being one of the 3 nights out of 37 when I bothered to set up my tent, on the top of a small hill and getting down to write my diary remains one of my purest experiences in life.
Freedom from parents’ and friends’ expectations – a couple hours before moving from home, I didn’t know I’d go ahead. A month after my 18. birthday with the catalysator of an unimportant argue with my parents I’d just leave. It was a long dream coming true and the feeling of being powerless and passive never returned to my life. A similar (though rather sad than triumphant) feeling came when we broke up with my girlfriend. A similar great emotion had such effect on me that I had to hit the wall until my fist bled when a friend made me realize I didn’t have to spend more time with my classmates: because there is better company out there. Or the several. Se-ve-ral occasions of getting tipsy and drunk was another important moment of freedom, no joke.
Freedom of body – not matter what they say, humans are animals. Developed animals that think with their brain (most of the time) and listen to their instincts too. Animals, that are alive as long as their body functions: by definition. It would be unwise to say that our body does not have everything to do with our moods, thoughts, ideas, feelings: let it be hunger or freedom. And our body can give us enormous freedom. Let it be a morning exercise, running 30 kms or having your first orgasm. Don’t tell me you don’t remember it. Wasn’t that properly relieving? Wasn’t that at least a moment of complete freedom?
Freedom of together – I used to have a strict theory in which individuals were able to reach freedom while 2 people together were already regarded “society”. And I’d think: society is full of sin, murder, dirt while an individual is always right and sacred. Later I’d come to the conclusion that the basic issue (call it original sin if you wish) is in every single individual. There is not one person that can live in harmony with himself and the world. Two or three neither.
But getting over your own self can be something liberating. Freedom from loneliness in cases of company of drinking partners, a best friend, a romantic relationship and to extend your personality beyond yourself – by having children, to feel part of the universe or any other way you choose. For me, apart from being a friend, a husband, a father practical aspects like volunteering and charity (becoming free from my own earnings’ grip) have worked.
What are your greatest moments of freedom?
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