When you are young and leaving home for the first time, it feels like freedom has wrapped you into it’s arms and then jumped off a cliff. It is the sensation of flying, without actually fearing that you will hit the ground or the water with a sudden shock to your system, landing is nothing but a afterthought, another universe away. Right now, you are flying.
Maybe this is college. Maybe this is your first apartment. Maybe this is something else, but it’s freedom and you grasp it with both hands, tightly, as a child would grasp their mother after they have been away from home the first time. Perhaps the comparison is ironic. Perhaps you just don’t see it like that at the time. You take in the city, breathe in life, smoke, mystery, noise, danger – it is all so titillating, and you are so young – the world is yours to take and mould, you can be anything or anyone you feel like.
Freeze that moment, right there in your head. The first time you truly felt free. The expectations, the ideas, the things you thought you were destined to be. Do you remember the pure, unadulterated, unpolluted happiness of it all? Good. I’m glad that you kept the memory.
Because complete freedom brings with it responsibility. Suddenly you make the rules. Suddenly you are in charge of a life that you never thought would go wrong. Suddenly, the whole world is moving faster than you want it to. Suddenly you realise that you aren’t ready. Suddenly, it is all spinning out of control. Suddenly you want it all to stop, stop, stop.
But it doesn’t stop. The world stops for no one. And it didn’t for you.
Listen. I am sorry. I am sorry for making you remember but this is going to be important. Because that fresh faced kid is still somewhere inside you, hiding in a panic room you have made inside your heart. The same kid that had all those dreams the kind of dreams that felt so close in that moment of freedom, you could taste your success.
Go back to that moment. Back to that second you felt like the world was yours, you owned it. What would you tell yourself, really tell yourself now that you know what you do now? Now that you are older and wiser? You have learned already that the world stops for no one. You have made your peace with your responsibilities. You have understood what its like to have your heart broken and most importantly of all, you have learned how to face rejection.
In other words, there is no better time than now to claim complete and utter freedom in your life, take control of your future, take life by the reins and chase every single dream. Do not let the fear of complete freedom dog your every movement, destroy what you once thought was within your reach. You are jaded now, but you do not have to be.
Instead, learn from the mistakes of your youth and take every bit of freedom you feel in that moment, in that second and now, older, and wiser, use it as fuel to pursue every single one of your greatest goals and dreams.
The world is a beautiful place but it is only so if you choose every single day to see it that way. The world is a blissful place but you have to have gratitude in your heart for the little things to see it that way. The world is yours to view negatively or positively, just like freedom is a state of mind.
We all get a choice in this life. You can either choose to slow down, fall back and give up on all your dreams. Or you can choose to never forget what it is like to be completely and totally free and use that feeling, that moment to fuel every single one of your dreams.
Remember the determined young person you used to be. And believe in yourself again.
Don’t you owe that starry eyed kid that much?