If someone asks me how I’d visually represent “freedom”, my mind immediately pictures birds in flight. I’m sure I’m not alone on this one. Don’t they just seem so… well, free? Soaring all majestically and shit, thousands of feet above you, so high up they’re practically just dots in the sky?
Even the ones that stick closer to Earth seem free. The pigeons lined up on street lamps, blackbirds on electrical wires, seagulls hovering over the ocean. Some of them may be grounded, perched on their stoops, but at any moment, they can spread those wings and take off to anywhere they damn well please.
They just seem so satisfied, and I’m eternally jealous of them.
Idealistic people such as myself see these birds and imagine their lives to be all fine and dandy. I tend to forget birds are susceptible to broken wings, falls, missed landings, poor calculations, and the occasional ultra-clean window.
I imagine setbacks such as these are simply punches to be rolled with, and birds seem to take them in stride. Maybe their day-to-day shortcomings are easily overshadowed by the tremendous satisfaction they get from being free.
I try to picture a life steeped in mediocrity, one without wings. A life that may be safe, but void of any challenge, excitement, and fire. I think of all the people who currently live this way, bored to tears and deeply unsatisfied yet not willing to make any changes. I wonder why they’re stuck, why they’re so deeply entrenched in their broken processes that they can’t get themselves out of that slump.
Is it motivation? Could it be belief, either in themselves or in the possibility of making that change?
In my case, that ill-defined, deep-seated unhappiness transformed into a nagging thought that wouldn’t leave me alone. It was as if a spark ignited inside, and soon the warmth from that glowing flame became so intense, it was impossible to ignore.
I knew I needed to do something, and I had two choices: Either make an epic change, or stay safe and comfortable and not change a thing. The former decision paralyzed me; my cautious mind rang the alarms because of the uncertainty that lay ahead. The latter decision just made my blood boil. The thought of living life dormant goes against every fiber of my being.
In the end, I’d rather risk discomfort if it meant feeling truly alive.
I imagine the multitudes of listless, defeated bird watchers, tracing flight paths with longing stares while wishing they too could be free… hoping to one day garner enough courage to attempt a flight of their own.
The moment I recognized I was doing this very thing, I vowed to never again be among the listless and the settled, idly hoping for my time to come. The flame that burned could no longer be ignored. So I made that change. I quit.
Here’s to a whole new set of adventures.Tweet Follow @barroncuadro