I've been absent from writing awhile and it's been a challenge to figure out exactly why. Did I lose my mojo? Did I just not have anything to say? The truth is, I'd lost my sense of freedom.
I danced under a streetlight for 10 uninterrupted minutes to some Stevie Wonder and some Spice Girls. Didn't stop when cars went by, but truly danced and booty popped like no one was looking (it was on my bucket list). And in that moment it all just came smashing together like two inevitable toddler heads at a play date; I'd stopped doing the things that make me feel like myself, and feeling like myself is what makes me feel free to be or do anything I put my mind to.
Somewhere in that hustle and bustle of scheduled time, I'd neglected me and what makes me happy. Long walks to nowhere. Thirty-second (or longer) dance parties. Music and books, art and learning new things. Truthfully, the past month or two (or three) I'd been going to work, coming home, and...that's it. No writing. No reading. No singing. No joy.
I suppose I felt obligated to this idea of what an adult person's life is. My parental figures go to work and come home and that seemed like what the traditional American life is but I always forget I'm not traditional and that puts me in direct confrontation with people who say they want to understand or help me, but don't know me enough to tailor their "advice." From my hair, to my shape, to the words I chose to express myself, I never seem to be in-line with the life my family and some friends seem to think I should lead.
I get discouraged with having to explain my choices in life to people, not because they have any valid or vital for my everyday life but because I feel like I shouldn't have to. These are people who see me in passing, people who've never seen me furiously typing away at keys, or dancing while I brush my teeth. These people don't know who or what I am because they didn't make me. Why am I explaining myself to these people? If I were explaining it to folks on the basis of letting them know who I was, I'd have no problem with it, but explaining myself to be judged? Takes away that sense of freedom.
It's a feeling of obligation, I've decided, that makes me feel so unlike me. When I feel obligated, especially if it's to family or close friends, I block off the things that I need or want in order to make things happen for them and I give them my freedom.
But you know something? I'm twenty-two f*cking years old. I shouldn't be obligated to anybody's ideas of who I should be, because I'm still creating myself as it is. If I'm a wreck, I'm a wreck, if I'm a success, I'm a success, but that path I chose should be purely my own, and I should enjoy the journey, because I only get one.
So, moral of the story is this: steal your sense of freedom back from those who've hijacked it. Even if it's only for a ten minute spotlight/streetlight dance party. Even if it nobody else understands you or why you must scream-sing 90's R&B ballads when you drive (just me?). Even if you gotta keep explaining who you are to people over, and over, and over again. One day they'll get it, or one day you'll quit talking, but either way you'll still be who you are, you'll still need what you need, and it's nobody's responsibility to hand you your sense freedom. Don't be afraid to take it.