19 Sept. 2016 - France - Free People
I remember with crystal clarity the days of sitting in my car in the parking lot of my dreaded 9-5, glaring at the building with tears in my eyes, battling with my concession to the socially accepted working world. This had become a daily ritual for me.
I’d sit and wonder how many more days I could survive as a prisoner there — 100, 50, 2?
How could I do it? How could I leave? What would I do instead? Little did I know that the answers to those questions mattered so much less than I imagined, and that the beauty of life’s adventure is that those things work themselves out as you go.
Before I began traveling the world, living out of a suitcase and finding home wherever my passport stamp read, I was stuck. As many of us are. Stuck in an idea that my life was run by someone else, that decisions were made for me, and I was nothing but a victim of circumstance in my own car crash of a daily routine.
And then one day, an opportunity came to travel, and I got scared. Because it was what I wanted more than anything in the world, but to make it happen would not be easy. I was at a crossroads, to attempt and possibly fail, or not try at all and continue losing a much slower battle. Shaken, confronted and lost, I went for a run.
It was a run I will never forget for the rest of my life.
A run that perfectly attuned me with my body, that made me aware of every muscle, bone, vein and artery that helped my body to function. And not just function, perform. I was gliding, moving through the air like a wild animal, with no concern for time or distance, only focusing on the rush of movement, the freedom from thought, and the power of my own strength. I pushed myself, harder, harder and harder. I had never run like this, without haste and with such passion. As I ran, the wind pressed against my face and blew all my worries and fears out my head, through my hair and into the sky where they were gone forever. The grace of each step upstaging the next, as if my mortal status had been promoted to temporary Goddess, ignoring struggle, pain or the ego’s temptation to tell me “I can’t.”
And in that moment, I saw the light. It was then that I realized I was holding myself prisoner, that in reality I held the key to my own shackles.
I have always had the freedom to move — to run, to surf, to dance, to play. To exercise my own strength, push myself to the limit and surpass it, to scare myself and laugh in the face of fear. No one could ever take that away from me.
This August, I traveled to 7 countries in 3 weeks. And as I soaked in the cultures of each unique locale, I felt especially grateful for the freedom to move. To take the train, fly, or drive across bordering countries, to run amongst ancient architecture, surf pristine beaches, to hike unfamiliar mountain ranges, and to practice yoga ANYWHERE.
And I thought back to my days in the cage, the days before I knew I could design my life and every aspect in it.
And I realized that I was always free. Because I always had, and will always have, the freedom to move.