My Truest Definition of Freedom


When I was eight, I thought I’d be free when I reach twenty. My dad’s overemphasized advice was sacrificing only twelve years of my life finishing school, so I can be on my own. I was looking forward to that very promising moment of tossing my graduation cap and saying to myself I finally made it! But no, things didn’t turn out that way.

Life happened in those twelve years: losing mom, brainwashing, saving other people’s lives when I can hardly save my own. I honestly didn’t have the motivation to pursue what I wanted for myself, let alone for other people. I’ve been staying afloat all these years when deep down, I’ve discovered something.

It’s not certainty or happiness. It’s neither confidence but I bet it’s the most important thing anyone can have. Freedom. No, I don’t own a house and yes, I got debts…but I can tell I’m no longer motivated by social trends, family pressure and financial wealth.

Clothing is the best example of a social trend. Especially in my teens, I was obsessed with getting the best hand-me-downs from aunt. Just to look good. Now, I realize I haven’t bought new clothes in the past two years and I’m still okay.

All the more my family wanted me to be okay, through getting good grades to secure a better life ahead. But there’s a side effect to that enveloping love which can be toxic. I didn’t want to let them down so instead I oversaw what was really important for me. I could’ve worked two jobs instead of taking up my masters, but I’m thrilled I can repeatedly say no to their desires for me.

Who doesn’t want to get materially stable? I’m a thrift and a money-chaser myself. I admit, this goal to financial wealth was the hardest thing for me to detach myself from. Without money, it makes me immobile, but there’s just so many aspects in life that are worth enjoying, moneyless: breathing, walks in the park, great laughs with people I’m most comfortable with!

Letting go of trends, pressure and wealth is my truest definition of freedom.

Laidback. Listener. Lifelong learner.