What Is It to Live Free?

Updated on October 19, 2017

A Story About a Traveller

This is a story about Jay. He is my close relative. He has been sleeping on my couch for six months. I am sad that he is leaving.

Jay has never had his own apartment or house. He has never paid rent. He hops from couch to couch.

He is not a slacker. He always has a job. Sometimes two or three jobs. He is going to college online. He pays his way, while building up his savings. He wants to buy a house with a plot of land someday, for when he is "older", and ready to settle down. He has his whole life planned.

But for now, he wants to be free.

He gets restless, and needs to move on.

I thought he would only stay for a few weeks, but he stayed six months. I told him he was welcome to stay here as long as he wants. He is good company. I can talk to Jay about anything. He listens. He helps people. Jay is one of the best of us.

I am not sure if he will ever settle down. He has a friend who lives in the woods. Jay sometimes wishes he could live like that. Truly free. But Jay is only semi-free. He feels tied to conformity. For a long time he didn't even have a bank account. He doesn't like doing things the easy way and conforming to society. But he is growing up a little. He now understands that to live in society, you actually have to do things society's way. I wish he could live like he dreams of. But he has chosen not to live the life of his dreams for some reason. I am not sure why. He is only semi-satisfied with his life. I wish there was some other way.

Living Out of a Backpack

Jay lives out of his backpack. He has whittled his belongings down to what he can fit in an army duffle bag and large backpack. He has some larger items, like his guitar and baritone, stored with friends and relatives.

But for day to day living and travelling, it's the two bags. I don't know how he fits everything in there. He is extremely organized. He has to be I guess to live that way. He knows the most efficient way to pack a bag. He keeps only the bare minimum to survive. A set of job interview clothes is always n the bag. His Bible for reading on busses and trains.

He keeps his things in good condition. Always clean and neat and organized. He knows where everything is, and everything has it's place.

I'm not sure how it fits, but he manages to fit a full-sized computer in the duffle bag. He's had it several years, and it goes wherever he goes. So far he has managed not to damage it or break it during his travels. I am very impressed with his packing skills.

It must be hard living out of a backpack. But Jay seems to thrive on this kind of lifestyle. Kudos for him. He is freer than I am. He can just pick up and go as the mood takes him. I could never do that. I like to stick to one place. I like my comfort zone.

Finding Freedom

I don't think I want that kind of freedom. I don't understand the appeal. I want the ability to roam if I want, but I don't actually want to do it.

I find freedom in my own way. Painting. Writing. Taking long walks on the beach. The wind is blowing strong today, and the rain is coming down. I have a fire going in the wood stove. Curling up on the couch with a good book is my kind of freedom. But everyone is different. People find freedom in different ways.

My life is easy compared to some. My wish is for everyone to find their freedom, and that means the freedom to do what makes them happy. If it doesn't infringe on other people's rights, I say do what makes you happy. This would make for a much better world.


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