Merriam Webster defines the word FREEDOM as follows:
1 : the quality or state of being free: such as
a : the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action
b : liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another : independence
c : the quality or state of being exempt or released usually from something onerous freedom from care
d : unrestricted use gave him the freedom of their home
e : ease, facility spoke the language with freedom
f : the quality of being frank, open, or outspoken answered with freedom
g : improper familiarity
h : boldness of conception or execution
2 a : a political right
b : franchise, privilege
Freedom means many different things to many different people. How you personally define freedom truly depends on your subjective view of the world around you. Take for example the Austrian psychiatrist and Holocaust Survivor Viktor Frankl. Frankls worldview, even during his imprisonment in Nazi concentration camps was one of personal and mental freedom. For others, simply having a secure 9-5 job which allows them to pay their bills every month and have enough left over to feed and entertain themselves consider themselves as having freedom. On the darker side, many people who seem to have everything going for them and opportunity after opportunity just feel tied down and focus on the things in life they cannot control. While others truly have had their freedomstripped and are unable to get in touch with their inner freedom ala Viktor Frankl.
For me personally, freedom has always had an ever changing meaning. I have worked my entire life and have been free to partake in the “American Dream”. You know, the house with the white picket fence, decent paying job and a reliable vehicle to get me from point A to point B on any given day. Whoo hoo, I have arrived. Talk about personal freedom. So why didn’t I feel free? So about four and a half years ago I realized this was not the definition of freedom I wanted to live any longer and so I chose to become self employed. This was great because now I had the freedom to create my own schedule. Although I found myself working signifcantly more hours I absolutely did feel more freedom than at any other point in my life. Fast forward 4 1/2 years to the present day and I can say with all certainty that my definition of freedom has once again changed.
This past March my wife Julia, my 10 year old son Nick and myself decided to downsize our lives and seek an even greater sense of freedom. We purchased a travel trailer and a new hitch for my truck and moved out of our house and into the travel trailer. We have been staying local to our home area since March 4th and will be heading out to begin our workkamping adventure on May 18th. We will be traveling to Yellowstone National Park and working for the summer. Free from the constraints of what we deem to be the typical hum drum existence. Free from most of the “stuff” we managed to accumulate throughout our lives. Free to create and redefine our personal meanings of freedom.
I know that I am blessed to experience freedoms that others do not have and it is my sincere hope that whoever you are and wherever you may be that you are able to create and define freedom in a way that makes your heart sing no matter what circumstances you are experiencing.
Until next time, we’ll be seeing you… ON THE ROAD!