17th Day in Spain
Life isn’t linear, is it? It meanders about, like water. When water flows down a hill, it doesn’t flow down a straight line. It takes the best path along the Earth’s surface.
Water is good at finding the best path. The best path may not be as obvious or logical to us.
Humans would make terrible rivers.
The Easiest Way Up a Mountain
If you’ve ever hiked a mountain, you know you don’t hike right up a straight line. There are switchbacks, so the ascent is more gradual. Switchbacks make the route less steep, make the climb less strenuous. It may seem like a waste of time and effort zig-zagging back and forth, but it is the best way up the mountain.
So I’ve zigged and zagged, and now here I am at the post I’ve hinted at the past week.
If You Want Fireworks…
My friend Nicole published How Finding Freedom Means You Must be Willing to Create Fireworks by Doing the Unthinkable on July 2.
Nicole wrote and published with perfect timing for Independence Day!
Me? The guy who published a book and didn’t think to tell anyone? Burdened by my own concept of freedom, I write a freedom post on July 9th or 10th and finally publish it the week of Halloween when everyone else is.
Nicole explained how she and her family craved Independence Day fireworks while enjoying their own freedom living abroad after backpacking across Spain. They could have waited a week for a huge Spanish celebration, but there are no fireworks in the Running of the Bulls. Lots of bulls, but no fireworks.
Okay. That’s not true.
The Running of the Bulls does host a fireworks competition. There are actually a lot of fireworks, but neither of us was near Pamplona. And those fireworks didn’t start until July 6. And they weren’t for Independence Day.
Make Your Own Fireworks
So just as they’ve created their own freedom — the kind of freedom that allows them to spend a summer backpacking across a foreign country — they created their own fireworks.
Freedom is Relative
I love this line from Hamilton, An American Musical:
Burr: The Constitution’s a mess.
Ham: So it needs amendments.
Burr: It’s full of contradictions.
Ham: So is Independence.
— Lin-Manuel Miranda
Freedom is Full of Contradictions
The freedom Nicole’s family created is true freedom. It’s not what everyone else thinks is freedom. Reading her article, you see that their loved ones had a completely different freedom in mind for them. Someone else’s freedom may not be freedom to you.
What one person wants freedom from might be the thing someone else wants so that they’re free from something else.
If they had the freedom their loved ones want them to have, they wouldn’t have the freedom they want. Having a freedom you don’t want isn’t freedom.
Freedom is full of contradictions.
Whose definition of freedom do you pursue?
I know a lot of people trapped in jobs they hate so they can be free from starvation and homelessness.
I’ve known people stuck in relationships that made them miserable to be free from loneliness.
Don’t let your friends and relatives tell you what freedom is to you. Don’t let politicians or pundits tell you what freedom is to you. Don’t let your teachers and preachers tell you what freedom is to you.
Only I can tell you what freedom should be to you!
Scratch that last sentence. Don’t let me tell you what freedom is to you! That statement is contradictory. “So is independence.” (Maybe the exception proves the rule after all.)
Someone else’s concept of freedom may not seem free to you. Others’ concept of freedom won’t make you happy. Don’t try making someone else happy by pursuing their concept of freedom.
The first step in pursuing freedom is pursuing the freedom you want.
Pursue your own freedom.
Fight for your own freedom.
No, Nicole Akers, this is not the freedom post I told you I’ll post soon. I’m still working on that one. I’m going to time it perfectly to publish on July 2, 2019. Somebody, please remind me.
This is Day 17 of my Summer in Spain saga that began 28 days ago.
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