Liberty is the right to choose.— Jules Renard
Freedom is the result of the right choice.
The words liberty and freedom are often used together, and I think many of us living in the free world, don’t stop to think often enough about all the freedom we have. Me included. So many live in places where they are not free, where they have to hide their religion, their political beliefs, their sexual orientation or their gender. I wish this was not the case. I wish all people everywhere on the face of this earth could just be who they are, and that others, including those in powerful positions, would accept and respect it. I wish people everywhere could truly be free.
Choices I made
During my life I have made several choices people have frowned upon, but those were my choices, and every one of them made my life better, even if it didn’t seem like that at the time. Some of those choices are:
- Deciding that I would keep my baby when I fell pregnant at the age of sixteen, and raise her myself. We had some hard times, she and I, but I never once regretted that I have decided to take this road.
- Choosing to end not one, but two marriages, both times because I wanted to give my children a better life. Once more I hadn’t chosen the easy road, but I had chosen the right one for us.
- Doing something I said I wouldn’t — get married for a third time. This counts as one of the best choices I have made in my life.
- Emigrating from my country of birth to live in my mother’s country of birth. I left everything I had behind, and boarded a plane with my kids three suitcases and three carry-on bags.
- A choice that only very little people in my direct surroundings know of, is choosing to be in a power exchange relationship; choosing to submit to my husband. The amount of freedom this choice has given me, is difficult to capture in words.
Regardless of what some people think, I know I have so many privileges. My life has not been an easy one, and I had to walk some very difficult roads to get where I am today, but still I had the privilege of both my skin color and identifying as I was born. I grew up in a country where those with a different skin color were discriminated, and I hated it. Not in the first 18-20 years of my life, but once I started working, I saw the inequalities and did my tiny bit to ‘make things right’.
I have the freedom to live my life the way I want to. I have the freedom to go where I want to. To do the job I want to. To believe in a higher power or not, to choose which political party I want to vote for. That in itself is a freedom: to be able to vote. I have the freedom to buy what I want, to choose what I do with my money and when. There are so many freedoms I have, and where some of those freedoms are within the ‘confinements’ of the law, they still are freedoms, and much more than many other people have in other countries.
There is freedom in choosing what I want to believe; who I want to believe. I have the freedom to think for myself, and if there is one thing I have always hated, is when someone tries to force their beliefs on me. I will always respect whatever you believe in, and never force my views on you, and all I ask in return is for you to do the same for me. Respect is something I feel about so strongly, and any kind of disrespect (whether in word or acts) will probably have me turning my back on you. That in itself is a kind of freedom.
Statue of Liberty
I can’t write about liberty without mentioning the Statue of Liberty. In 2009 my mom won a prize at the casino: a 5-day Christmas shopping trip for 2. To New York! She asked me to join her and of course I said yes!
(Note: She also won a trip for 2 to Thailand, and took my oldest daughter with her, and a trip for 4 to London, and then my oldest daughter, her husband and my son joined her.)
We had a couple of great days in New York, going out by bus to see some of the highlights of the city, but also enough free time to go out shopping and just see the city on our own. And… it was COLD. Freezing! I remember walking in the streets and despite wearing a half long winter coat, my upper thighs felt like blocks of ice, not even to speak of my feet. A snow storm was predicted — a blizzard — but we weren’t too worried about it. I mean, we had seen snow before.
We were destined to board our flight back home late in the afternoon on 20 December 2009, and on the Saturday (19 December 2009) to go out on a river dinner cruise to the Statue of Liberty. But, in the late afternoon it started snowing. The organization informed us that it was still safe to go out on the boat. Getting in the bus at the hotel, the world around us was already white. On our way to the boat, we noticed how much snow there was already. By the time we got to the boat, there was such a strong wind that the snow didn’t fall down, but flew pass us horizontally. My poor mom. She had to struggle so hard against the wind, to catch her breath and to move forward. But, we made it, and we sailed out to the Statue of Liberty, where through the windows, I made a couple of images, which of course were of bad quality because of the snow.
When we took our luggage out to the bus halfway the next morning, we were shocked to see how much snow had fallen. I had never before seen that much snow in my life, and never again. The December 2009 North American blizzard was an experience in itself, and upon landing in Brussels, we found ourselves in snow again and the entire road from Brussels to Rotterdam was slow going, as there was snow everywhere!
But, at least returning, I could say I had lain my eyes on the Statue of Liberty!
© Rebel’s Notes
Image from Pixabay