Freedom

My partner has gifted me a life-changing opportunity. He has offered to support me financially so I can take time. Time. 

What? 

These are the thoughts that have sprouted into my consciousness, in no particular order: 

But how will I pay him back? 

Do I owe him anything? 

If I accept this, does it mean I’m weak? 

Is accepting this offer anti-feminist? 

What the fuck do I do with myself now? 

Does this mean I am privileged? 

My partner tells me to ‘Take time to figure out what you want. Make decisions that aren’t based on money.’ 

I have always scoffed at people who have told me I can do whatever I want in life, the world is my oyster, etc. Yaddah, yaddah, yaddah, that may be the case for you, dear friend with the supportive, financially secure family. But I live in a different world. I live beneath that line, nestled in uncertainty and clinging to my next step, always thinking ahead to my next plan. 

And now I have been offered the chance to slow down. To look at what is happening now. It’s unfamiliar territory. I’m guessing it’s like that wire fence I climbed as a child, dividing my garden and the neighbouring deer farm. I would watch those beasts on the other side. Some mornings you could see steam lifting from their bodies. They spent their entire lives in that paddock, just being. Being with time. What would happen if I worked my way over there? 

You can do anything. 

What would you do? 

Run away to New York, rent an art studio and just paint, paint, paint? If I’m not frustrated with my world and my situation, if I no longer feel stuck, if the world is my oyster, why would I paint? Why would I make? Do I even want to make? 

Whenever I asked myself ‘what is the point?’ I could always stick that question with work. There’s no time to think about the point, just get on with it. 


I am teaching myself to listen to what I want to do. I’m getting better at it. Usually, my time would look like this:

wakeup,runninglate,rushtosomeone,careforsomeone,dosomeoneafavour,hopetheynotice,hopetheythankme,brushitoff,workwhilethinkingaboutotherthings;people,relationships,myself,lookuparticlesontheinternet,skimread,openmultipletabs,textfriendssomethingrandom,carryabookinmybag,staylateatwork,putoffsocialplans,walkhomeexhausted,spendtimewithmypartnerasifIwereazombie. 

I am a professional carer. I’m an expert at putting others needs before mine. I get a kick out of it. After all, if I don’t live a life doing what I want to do, at least I’m a caring person. At least I would have made a difference. 

Now, I am learning to be open to time, to knowing that things will come together, things will happen, and if they don’t, it’s OK. I’m surprised to find that my days seem to speed by. But I remember the details from each day more than I have before. 

My time is starting to look like this: 

wake up, lay in bed and look at the treetops. Wonder. Start to think about the day ahead. Enjoy making breakfast and providing for my partner. Stretch, move my body, run, wake up. Prepare for the day. Wear what I feel like. Work. Work smarter, enjoy writing emails. Meet a friend. Talk about life and art and ideas. Walk to a gallery. View art. Rest eyes, think about the work from a comfortable distance. Walk to the grocer, listen to a podcast or music. Notice people. Notice faces. Take time. Home to cook. Pour wine, play music, and learn a new recipe. Learn. Learn. Learn. 

 

 

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