Freedom is never given . . . it is won (Philip Randolph)


When I first looked at freedom for this week’s Wednesday Word, I thought about writing about the freedom I feel running in the summer, in a tank and a skirt, how free it feels to move without all the layers.

In fact, I think it’s easier to get things done in the summer, for many reasons, but feeling free in my body is definitely one of them.

But then I thought — that’s too easy. That’s a super easy post for me to write. And, as they say, change only happens when you get outside your comfort zone, so I decided to dig a little deeper into freedom.

Are bold people freer?

Freedom lies in being bold
–Robert Frost

I don’t really consider myself to be a bold person. I’m sure some would say that choosing to run a half marathon in every state is a bold quest. Especially when you didn’t start until age 50.

Being cautious limits you. It may keep you safe, but it can cage you, too. If I hadn’t decided to be bold and choose to start running without having ever run more than a few minutes in my life, I would definitely be a different person. Probably a more cautious one. My life would be smaller, I would have seen far less of the world, and I would have far fewer friends.

Yes, Robert, I think you’re right.

It’s interesting though, when I look at the definitions of freedom, none of them seem to fit this post:

  1. The state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or underphysical restraint:He won his freedom after a retrial.
  2. Exemption from external control, interference, regulation, etc.
  3. The power to determine action without restraint.
  4. Political or national independence.
  5. Personal liberty, as opposed to bondage or slavery: a slave who bought his freedom.
  6. Exemption from the presence of anything specified (usually followed by from):
    freedom from fear.
  7. The absence of or release from ties, obligations, etc.

So what does freedom mean to me?

The truth is I love being alive. And I love feeling free. So if I can’t have those things I feel like a caged animal and I’d rather not be in a cage.
–Angelina Jolie

One of the most important freedoms to me is feeling comfortable in my own skin. Some people are just born that way, no matter what they weigh. Some people never feel that way. Some people pretend to feel that way, but really don’t feel comfortable in their own skin.

It’s not just about weight, either. Quite a few years ago Mr. Judy and I lived apart for the better part of two years (we did see each other once or twice a month). He was working up here, and I was still living in our house in Austin, both of us hoping that he would find another job in Austin, which clearly he did not.

It’s not the first time we’ve spent a lot of time living apart due to Mr. Judy’s job, but it was definitely the longest and the most time between seeing each other. I learned that while I am okay living by myself, I am happier living with Mr. Judy. Yes, of course we have our differences, our arguments, etc., but I know that while I can live on my own, I choose not to.

You have to be comfortable in your own skin — an important freedom to me — to feel that you are happy being by yourself.

Freedom means a lot of other things to me, but this is the freedom I chose to write about today. I think it’s an important freedom. Maybe one of the most important freedoms.

Deb Runs

Which freedom is most important to you?