It wasn’t when I was standing on top of a hill in the wind and rain, or camping under a starry sky.
It wasn’t when I walked from Land’s End to John O’Groats with only my pack on my back.
It wasn’t when I lived in my yurt or lived out of my car, or when I travelled around the world with no real thing to come back to.
No. That moment of freedom, it occurred in a much less wild and glamorous location!
My hands were full of dirty dishes and a loose strand of hair stuck to my face and tickled my nose. I was hot and tired, working a minimum wage job in a local cafe, when my former boss stopped by for a coffee.
He seemed rather surprised, seeing me there, at the end of a busy lunchtime, clearing tables and washing plates, making coffee and serving food. This woman who was once suited and booted, shiny haired, smart, successful, eager to please and working her way to the top. Coffee-ground-smeared, sticky, footsore….and beaming with joy!
I saw his expression flicker from mildly awkward embarrassment, to slight bemusement, to – perhaps – something akin to envy. I may have imagined the last, but really, it’s irrelevant.
Because in that moment, I realised it really didn’t matter what anyone thought.
I had been a high earning actuary and Acquisition Services Consultant in a FTSE 100 wealth management firm, with very promising prospects. I was now working part-time for minimum wage as a barista/shop assistant/washer-upper in the local organic shop and cafe.
I had swapped a respectable income, job security and a decent pension…and a life of computers, suits, office politics and endless meetings, for a meagre income, sore feet and an uncertain future…and laughter, a vision, working for a cause I believed in, learning to live with less, and retraining in skills that truly brought my heart alive.
It was a no brainer, and yet, it’s only now that I realise it wasn’t leaving my job and following my dreams that set me free. Yes, I’d escaped the cage, but my wings might still have been clipped.
True freedom has taken a little more work. More Truth seeking. A LOT of letting go!
And recently I’ve realised this:
True freedom isn’t about not having to work, or getting to do what you want to do all the time.
True freedom is discovering who you are, being who you are, and loving who you are, No Matter What.
No matter what other people think.
No matter what the world says you “should” do or “should” be.
No matter if it’s not pretty, or elegant, or “normal”.
Just You. Wildly You.
That’s freedom! And that’s what I wish for you, dearest one 💛