What is freedom?


Nina Simone was asked “What is freedom?” and she spoke the truth I have come to realize the past few months. No fear. Fear works for survival when it comes to animals, it alerts them to identify danger and hide or most possibly run away from it. Humans however, are not always capable of taking advantage of this feeling. They mostly choose to hide from their fears, they disguise them in order to feel more secure and happy, for a while, in stead of understanding the mechanics of fear, searching for its origin and build up an action, not reaction. And I am not referring to fear of the obvious, I am exploring fears I never thought I would face, like fear of change, of moving forward, of accepting who I am as a whole in stead of choosing the parts of my being that make me proud of, fear of making choices and being consistent towards those choices transforming them into decisions and responsibilities, a fear of reality in some way. But being afraid of something is good, it is an inner system of alerting ourselves. Fear reveals feelings and memories that our mind has been hiding from our consciousness. What is dangerous about that is that feelings that are not faced, are not dead, they will reappear and will be more intense that before. Have you ever thought how your life would have been if you were able to face your fears instead of turning them into choices that eventually made your life what it is today?

Some years ago, I made choices that I thought they were the best possible solution under the current circumstances. We all do that. Some choices are obvious and some other are dressed in colours of fate, destiny, or luck. I do not believe in luck, I do believe though in possibilities, in the energy that flows our world, this magical energy that brings us together and sends miles away from each other. It is not fate, it is what we have chosen to live each time. We cannot always choose what is happening outside of us  – almost never I would say – but we always choose what we will do, how we will react to what is happening. We choose to let it in our world, we choose to ignore it, we choose to resist, to surrender, to fight or just to go with its flow.

Go back to your childhood and bring up your memories, what were you really afraid of? Is it possible that those fears are maintained and reappearing under different patterns until we finally face them and release them? Many years ago, my answer to what constituted my fears was to be homeless {but home is a place inside of us, our base, and I made the choice to share it in an intolerable extent in order not to be alone}, to loose my mind {the state of a weakness consuming and overcoming you and being so obvious that others would eliminate you, being alone in a state impossible to change} and finally to be alone, {the core of the fear itself}. Was I ever really free? Perhaps sometimes yes, but not free in my own choices. It sounds like a fear in climax, evoking a metaphor I only initiated to convey a more than a year ago. A domino of feelings coming on surface because my fear was reflected on living body of flesh and soul.  Flesh that attracted me like gravity and soul that made the surreal possible. The surreal of having a soul mate standing against the fear of being alone. We are alone once born yet we are designed to coexist and make relationships to discover part of ourselves. Like an eternal game of existence in correlated loneliness and companionship. We are being alone, together. Why am I bringing all this up? I think I know.


There was something I was told months ago that can sum up the mortal feeling I have been embracing the past few months. “Once you take responsibility of your choices, you’re free”. Was I afraid of my choices or maybe, God, was I afraid in my own choices? I first felt in need of building my private home back in 2008. A journey started and it is still taking me to new places. I am open to see mirrors reflecting me, no matter how much it might hurt sometimes, nothing can shadow the bliss of seeing yourself in moments that last even for a few seconds yet their glory lasts for a memory that takes you to your next step. Your next homeland. Throughout these years I took a step to accept myself, even though it did not seem like that back then. I felt alone for the first time in my adulthood while being surrounded by people I had labelled as friends, being in a relationship in which passion and lust were foolishly metamorphosed into love, for such was the need of feeling like being loved.  It was when I discovered my interaction with others through what photography had to offer to my intellectuality. It was when I first realized that our eyes aren’t what makes us see, but our hearts, only, and always. Engaging myself in photography and spending hours or even days “alone” in a microenvironment I had created for myself, I made the choice of not being with someone in order to feel like one. Complete. Back then I felt I lost friends, whereas now I can see my choice of being a bit less afraid of being alone. That was my baby step effort towards transformation, freedom. Togetherness however, has always been part of who I am, I turn into a large wild dark pink flower when I put myself in what togetherness is. I create. The challenge is to create within me. For me. With me. Once I wrote “have you noticed that pronouncing I is like a full inhale exhale?” Where’s the freedom when there is no “I” to exhale? I got lost in “we”, again, in a paradise of recognition through someone else’s eyes. I created a life story which I can now narrate with self acceptance even when walking towards its dark corners of fear projections. It was when I felt like writing so as to hear me talking. It is only now I can see my similarities with him, similarities that contradicted in me so hard that cracks would not appear in a matter of time. He was struggling to gain his “voice” despite his articulate speech. It has always been an inner voice, silent for years. I write to hear my own voice, whereas when I took up photography I wanted to speak without words. I cannot imagine myself not being heard, in words, feelings, patterns or ideas. I was blaming him for not making a choice, where it was me not making a choice for me. It was me not loving me. Not him. I was dancing in the studio when I realized I was not looking at myself at the mirrors but I was moving like others, looking at others, like what I believed about him. It is now I can see we fall in love with ourselves. We choose persons that bring up our dark sides, it’s the only way we can see them. The passion that overwhelms us is our ecstacy in meeting that part of ourselves inside an other person. Time has passed and I have been changing into something I do not know yet. Sometimes I feel free, some others, I am in a state where I cannot see me. At least in a way I can recognize me. I am feeling however like air. I move from “place” to “place”, from “friend” to “friend” meeting me in different ways. This trip itself is a state of loneliness. When we are changing, things around us change as well, nothing can stay the same, as we see ourselves and things and people subsequently through a different lense. Aperture can be low or high, depending on how new something feels to us. Another quality of air is that it is transparent.  I can see through me, but I need to put boundaries to what I reveal to others. I need to learn how to protect my “home”.


Last week was a breakthrough. A painful, disorientating one, like a domino effect of realizations, which conveyed a hidden meaning we can only understand when we come face to face with our fears. Feelings of being betrayed and not heard came back under an argument with a very loved, closed to me friend. I felt the experience of breaking up with him was repeating with a female face. I could not breath and I suffocated in my effort to be likable, loved. This time however, my love for me is stronger than before. It is the first time in my life that I said and meant that I am who I am and if you cannot see who I am, I cannot be myself with you. It hurt and brought so many memories back, but it gradually switched into a deeper truth. When we do not love ourselves enough to be who we are no matter what, we enclose ourselves in places we do not belong, we relate with people we do not match with, we struggle to feel loved by something outside of our own self. Something we cannot control. And we should not. I saw I repeated the same pattern again and immediately could see how the meaning of togetherness has changed for me. It is now spoken in a different language. It is expressed in words of freedom. The free choice of being yourself, against the fear of being someone else in order to be with someone else. It reminds me of what Marguerite Yourcenar once described as friendship using an allegory out of a fairy tale “There was a girl with a cat with no name. They asked the girl how could she call her cat if she had no name. The girl replied she does not have to call for her cat, it freely comes when it wants to. That is how friends come into our lives.”

At the end of day, there is only one person who will be with us under any circumstances, no matter what the obstacles are, our own self. Let it be free.

Memories are the proof that everything’s changing. “I want you always to remember me. Will you remember that I existed, and that I stood next to you here like this?” ― Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood




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