Friday, 8 May 2009

Dream of Freedom

I've just been chatting over MSN to a friend of mine, who we shall call R. Because it is his first initial and I'm pretty sure we don't have an R in our story yet =]

Anyway. He's... I don't want to say a hippie type but it's probably the best way to describe him. He's all dreadlocks and political opinions and reefer. But that isn't all he is. He's very intelligent and very wise beyond his years, even though he's only a year older than I am. I find there are very few people these days that I can actually have a real, meaningful conversation with, and even fewer people that I can be my completely real self around. So many people don't appreciate certain sides of my personality and sometimes, although I still consider myself an individual and don't really care much what people think of me, I find myself editing out the pieces I know people don't appreciate. Like the swearing or the constant sarcasm or the fact that I'm a mean, nihilistic, cynical bitch who has zero faith or respect in humanity, and laughs her ASS off at dead baby jokes.

R gets all of these parts of my personality and I think that's why we get along so well; in many ways, we're pretty similar people.

We met when he came into my team at work as a temp a little over a year or so ago, and I made up some training notes for him and the other new person to use. We didn't talk a GREAT deal at the time, because I was pretty new to the team myself and can be introverted and shy when the mood strikes me, and he's the same way. He told me later that he's the kind of person who wraps up who they really are and doesn't really let himself loose around people he doesn't know. Ironically, it was his last day here, the day before he left to go into a much better job that his immense artistic talent was much more suited for, that those walls broke down. We talked and we joked and it was awesome. We clicked like old friends. And then, of course, he left.

We have kept in touch though, talking on occasion over facebook but more often by chatting on MSN. Our conversations vary between meaningless chatter about our day or a video game, to more deeper, introspective stuff that forces us to really think. And it's nice to have that variety, you know?

But one major difference between R and myself is that he is so much more free, so much more... independent. He sees what he wants and he charges ahead to get it. And I respect him SO much for that, I don't think he realizes.

He's planning on moving to Korea, and just now told me that he'll have to put it off for a while because when you land in Korea they do blood tests, and he said he would be deported as soon as they found traces of cannabis in his system. This in and of itself is a huge deal, and a step I wish I was brave enough to take. He's moving to Korea ON HIS OWN. I could never just take a leap and move to a completely foreign country all alone. Yes, I moved from Canada to England once I turned eighteen, but that is so not the same thing. I had a firm support net here, and moved in with family immediately. My family supported and continue to help support me. If I didn't have them here, I would not have moved, it's that simple.

But while he's waiting to go to Korea, he's going hitch-hiking and backpacking around Europe. On his own. And again, that is something I really admire about R. That he's fearless and just goes ahead and does these things. Sometimes he feels much wiser and more worldly than I am and I feel embarassed, because he's only one year older than me. And surely that one year doesn't make THAT big of a difference, does it?

R is an old soul. That's the only way I can think to describe him.

Anyway. He asked if I'd like to go along with him, and you know what? I would, very much. I would love to drop everything and get a bag of stuff and just leave. To see the world (Europe at least) and not from a tourist-in-a-hotel perspective. It's so much more REAL to do the backpacking trip instead of spending several thousand on booking a hotel and first-class flights. It's something I would love very much to do.

But I can't. I have so many other things holding me back, strings tied around me and anchoring me here. To my home and to my job. Things I can't just drop, not without a lot of planning in advance. I'd like to think that if I didn't have so many obligations and things I need to do in the next six months, I'd just go. But the truth is, I don't know if I would, if I could LET myself. Maybe it's not my life and my plans and obligations, but myself that holds me back.

He's said he might be screwed because if things don't go well he has no home or job to come back to, but I've told him I've got a spare bed he's more than welcome to if he needs somewhere to sleep, he could probably get a temp job back here again. But I have every faith that he'll be just fine, that things will be amazing and he'll have the trip and experiences of a lifetime.

So right now, I guess I'm a little sad. I'm wishing him all the best on his trip and hope he stays in touch. But right now I find myself mourning that little piece inside of me that maybe I never had to begin with. That piece that is ready, able, and willing to embrace freedom and just let go of all the restraints holding it back.

I wonder if I'll ever be able to be that person.

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