Being on the road is such a strange experience–and not because of the obvious reasons, like having to figure out where to sleep, where to piss, where to get a snack, or where to get some free WiFi. Although, these things are all aspects that take more consideration when living on the road. I’m referring more to the mental game of transitioning from living in a house with four walls, to living in a car with six windows. From a place where I had any luxury I needed–heat, internet, memory foam bedding, a couch and T.V., people walking around, filling those spaces–to this point, of balancing the car battery and fuel bill for heat and power, paying close attention to data usage for mobile hot spots, eating out of the Rubbermaid pantry that sits in my back seat, and pit-stopping every day or two for a new bag of ice to keep my passenger-side fridge operational.
This isn’t a complaint, by any means. For all the good it’s worth, I am the one who signed up to live this way for the time being. I only stand to point out how strange it can be when you are left to your thoughts–really left to your thoughts. Left to the whims and freedoms of doing absolutely anything I could want to. I could pull over at any gas station any time I need to leak, with no complaints. I can take an exit, climb the nearest tree, and peer out across forests and bluffs, staying in that place as long as I want. I can stop at every bar and night club from here to the highway’s end, and listen to all the karaoke my ears can take. I can scour the undergrowth of mountain peaks, or sit under the shade of a towering palm on the beach. It’s terrifying.
Freedom is terrifying. It feels wasteful to squander it on nothing. It feels dangerous to challenge it’s worth. It feels overbearing to make something out of it. It feels hopeless to truly achieve. It feels impossible to make freedom feel completely fulfilled.
There are no ‘buts’. Something so rich as freedom can not exist without having some downsides. Everything has a con to it, somewhere–and freedom’s price is no light charge. Think of all the lives that have paid the ultimate price for America’s freedom. Or the lives America has taken when they wielded a portion of that freedom. The lives lost every day fighting for freedoms promise, in every nation and land. Most any war, going back as far as you care to dive through history, can be traced to a war for some type of freedom–or the oppression of it.
Freedom as I know it today, the freedom to make and do with my life what I will, is a whole other animal. The staked time where all of those lives that were sacrificed in freedom’s numerous wars are made worth–where I stand and get to choose what I do with this life of mine, because someone else chose to make that possible.
Freedom as I know it today, is born on the outside, and given life on the in. Grown into something worth being free, within. Molded and bent, twisted and shaped to become an improved version of what stood before. The true charge of freedom is the impractical task of mastering the mind. Tuning it to the right edge, so that it’s in line with body, your behavior, and soul, your moral compass. The root of those matters begins in the mind, and ends with the action, ever guided by morals intent. The mind is then the great hurdle to overcome, as action is rarely as hard as it is perceived to be, and getting started is usually all it takes.
Freedom is fickle. It gives you it’s agency, saying, ‘do what you will,’ with you as the subject line. To waste, to wait, to wallow, remain, expecting, a stick in the mud, on stand-by, delayed, watching, hanging–a lingering snake. Devour this freedom, or unmake a self that could have been.