Fear and Freedom

If you stay in the same place nothing changes. Change is scary but static is deadly. Fear of the unknown. Fear of failure. Fear of success. All of these can be soul sucking. I am embarrassed that I haven’t figured it out yet. I thought it was so easy. You go to school, you make friends, you do the work, you meet the man, you buy a house, you make a home, you make a family and you die. This all seemed an easy plan. Why is it so hard?

I remember in grade school meeting friends of my mom. Thinking they were the coolest people. They lived “free” lives. They had nothing to hold them down. No family, no home just an open road and a motorcycle. I remember thinking I wanted that life. I wanted to go where I wanted to go and see what I wanted to see. No one could tell me what I could or couldn’t do.  Don’t we all feel this way sometimes? Especially as teenagers.

As I grew older I realized that they actually weren’t free, they were chained to their fears.  They had no home because they didn’t know where they wanted to live. They had no family because family is hard. Family is support and stress. Love and war. It is fighting for what you believe in and swallowing your pride.

We are told there is someone out there for everyone. We are told we should own a home. Plan for our future. We are told to procreate.  In the US marriage rates are the lowest they have been in over 150 years. At it’s peak more than 2.5 million marriages were recorded each year. That has dropped by almost a half million people each year. And this is while our population is increasing not decreasing.  Only a little over half of the adults living in the US are living with their spouse. It is the lowest share on record, down form 70 percent in 1967.

I am not sure any more that there is someone for everyone. You have to look. You have to be open. You have to be willing to put in the work. You have to be willing to live a life where you are connected.

Thus, I realized I did not want a “free” life.  Although I don’t want to live the nomadic lifestyle of so many of my mom’s friends. I understand the struggles they had. The fear of committing to being hurt. The feeling of being disappointed by life, by other people, and lastly by myself.

I am still not sure I want to own a home. Commitment still scares me. I know I no longer want to own a motorcycle. I am barely coordinated on two legs, two wheels and a motor sound catastrophic.

I haven’t figured it out yet but I have figured out what I want. I do want to be connected. I do want to have a community. I want to have a home filled with love and laughter. I know there will be tears and yelling. I know that it won’t always be smooth sailing. But I would rather be chained down with those I care about than be free and alone.


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