I was walking down a street the other day, a street that I have walked a million times. On the day I needed it most, I saw this:
That is an excellent question, Light Post.
What would I do if I were free?
Free from worry, what-if-ing, social pressure, internal pressure, self-doubt?
I might work pro-bono for for causes I believe in and I might ignore people who don’t count it as real work.
I might flirt with my husband.
I might respond, without qualification, that I’m not planning on having children and I might not get uncomfortable that it makes people uncomfortable.
I might remember that you are not a kind person if you are kind to everyone else, and an asshole to yourself.
I might own my square-pegness.
I might wear pigtails, even though I’m 32.
I might simply decide that it’s OK to be happy.
I might do things that don’t sound like me, just to see if they fit.
I might gracefully let go of people who need to be let go of.
I might get up and laugh, after falling flat on my face in a grand failure that is spectacular in scope. And then I might try something different.
I might go places and see things that confuse me and change me in inalterable ways.
And I might stay home all day and play with my dog.
That’s what I would do if I was free.
What would you do?
Just before posting this, I read the following passage in the wonderful book I am reading. It is staggeringly appropriate and quite beautiful, so I thought I’d share:
“…he is repowered and free to be whatever he wants, free to pursue the hugest aim, the confidence right in his bones to be his particular I…Free to go ahead and be stupendous. Free to enact the boundless, self-defining drama of the pronouns we, they and I.”
– The Human Stain, by Philip Roth
You might also like: