I'm not trying to get too deep here, I'm only really talking about fairly superficial freedoms. You know, the freedom to buy those $400 shoes if you really want them. The freedom to take that holiday you can't exactly afford because, dammit, you know you need it. Even the freedom to downsize your apartment and sell the car in order to save money so that one day you can buy those shoes or take that holiday.
All these things represent freedom. Your choice as to how you spend your time and money, how you make plans, even how you make sacrifices.
In the space of 18 months, I have traded in a life of freedom (read: living in SoHo New York as a freelance writer, popping over to London or Peru when I felt like it, traipsing up to Maine for lobster, Rhode Island to research vampires, or down to New Mexico to watch the sky, all while wearing my admittedly several seasons old but still pretty Gucci, Stella McCartney and Louis Vuitton shoes)...
...For a life that definitely does not fit the standard definition of freedom. I am back in Australia which, by its geographical isolation alone, makes travel a much more expensive and significant undertaking. I am married (no more travel romances for me, although that's how I met Mr B, which is another story for another time). I have inherited two beautiful teenaged daughters. I have undertaken two much less beautiful mortgages. But we don't live in either of the houses we're paying off. This means renting, so: no garden, no painting or fixing up the house, no nesting.
And I couldn't be happier.
After all, what's freedom, really? Is it being unfettered? I don't think so. I think freedom is the opportunity to choose, and I am well aware that I represent a very lucky minority in this world that has that opportunity.
The life I have now is more richly rewarding, more challenging, and more surprising than anything I had before. It is also filled to the brim with love. I choose this life.
What does freedom mean to you?