The curse of freedom

Unbounded freedom, infinite possibilities, and illusive empowerment can make the best prison.

What do I mean by that? One example:

The things I’m currently insecure about are things I think I can change: thinning hair, protruding belly, and verbal communication skill, to name a few.

While my flat-bridged nose or square jaw feel more “it is what it is”. Sure, even if technically plastic surgery is a possibility but I don’t consider it as worth the hassle, hence I have learned to like it (I don’t think I made a conscious effort to like them first because they have always been like that, and second because they made up a pretty cute face anyway).

The same with my legs. I guess I can “fix” it further, but I don’t see any substantial benefit at this moment. I can already go wherever I want and do whatever I want, as is. I don’t see and believe I lack any opportunity. Sure it’d be nice to be able to walk faster, have my hands free while I’m walking, or to experience majestic sunrise that requires a hike for example, but somehow I feel I’ll be able to do it if I want to. I’ll just go slower, be ready to slip and get dirt on my clothes, and pay no mind if I look awful climbing with these crutches. But realistically, nah, 95% of the time I’m content watching 30 seconds IG drone videos from travel vloggers from the comfort of my room — verified in three instances, but another story for another time.

Anyway, this kind of explains how the increased perceived level of control and agency we have in modern society (“if you can dream it you can make it, work hard, you are free to dreams and pursue them, you are the master of your own destiny, self-made men, hence if you failed to “succeed”, it’s because you didn’t work as hard“) lead to this perpetual low-grade pressure of self actualisation, purpose anxiety, paradox of choice, and FOMO.

I define “problems” as “things are not what it should be”.

When the definition of things you think are broken and things you think you can fix expanded as we grew exponentially interconnected through the internet, we have infinite number of should’s, could’s, and would’s at our fingertips — and it’s hard to stop scrolling sometimes.

Liz Gilbert said she considered herself extremely lucky that writing is the only thing she’s interested in and good at.

Why do I write? I write because it’s the only thing I can do.

I say that because I have friends who I believe are cursed by being multi-talented. I know people who are cursed by having many different interests, so their attention is fragmented across many fields. and I think it’s hard to find your way.

So in that one way I would say that my life has been phenomenally simple.

I am currently rolling around in this curse. Not the multi-talented part mind you, but I feel I am too curious for my own’s sake. Combined with having a high tolerance for pain, being reasonably resourceful, and unreasonably tenacious, has left me quite exhausted and donkey-like.

There’s freedom disguised as constraints (and vice versa). As long as I keep trying to stay mindful of the constraints I believe I operate in and even better, decide and design my own constraints, I can have true freedom. This is the type of freedom I want to pursue.

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