Freedom is never given . . . it is won (Philip Randolph)

 freedom

When I first looked at freedom for this week’s Wednesday Word, I thought about writing about the freedom I feel running in the summer, in a tank and a skirt, how free it feels to move without all the layers.

In fact, I think it’s easier to get things done in the summer, for many reasons, but feeling free in my body is definitely one of them.

But then I thought — that’s too easy. That’s a super easy post for me to write. And, as they say, change only happens when you get outside your comfort zone, so I decided to dig a little deeper into freedom.

Are bold people freer?

Freedom lies in being bold
–Robert Frost

I don’t really consider myself to be a bold person. I’m sure some would say that choosing to run a half marathon in every state is a bold quest. Especially when you didn’t start until age 50.

Being cautious limits you. It may keep you safe, but it can cage you, too. If I hadn’t decided to be bold and choose to start running without having ever run more than a few minutes in my life, I would definitely be a different person. Probably a more cautious one. My life would be smaller, I would have seen far less of the world, and I would have far fewer friends.

Yes, Robert, I think you’re right.

It’s interesting though, when I look at the definitions of freedom, none of them seem to fit this post:

  1. The state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or underphysical restraint:He won his freedom after a retrial.
  2. Exemption from external control, interference, regulation, etc.
  3. The power to determine action without restraint.
  4. Political or national independence.
  5. Personal liberty, as opposed to bondage or slavery: a slave who bought his freedom.
  6. Exemption from the presence of anything specified (usually followed by from):
    freedom from fear.
  7. The absence of or release from ties, obligations, etc.

So what does freedom mean to me?

The truth is I love being alive. And I love feeling free. So if I can’t have those things I feel like a caged animal and I’d rather not be in a cage.
–Angelina Jolie

One of the most important freedoms to me is feeling comfortable in my own skin. Some people are just born that way, no matter what they weigh. Some people never feel that way. Some people pretend to feel that way, but really don’t feel comfortable in their own skin.

It’s not just about weight, either. Quite a few years ago Mr. Judy and I lived apart for the better part of two years (we did see each other once or twice a month). He was working up here, and I was still living in our house in Austin, both of us hoping that he would find another job in Austin, which clearly he did not.

It’s not the first time we’ve spent a lot of time living apart due to Mr. Judy’s job, but it was definitely the longest and the most time between seeing each other. I learned that while I am okay living by myself, I am happier living with Mr. Judy. Yes, of course we have our differences, our arguments, etc., but I know that while I can live on my own, I choose not to.

You have to be comfortable in your own skin — an important freedom to me — to feel that you are happy being by yourself.

Freedom means a lot of other things to me, but this is the freedom I chose to write about today. I think it’s an important freedom. Maybe one of the most important freedoms.

Deb Runs

Which freedom is most important to you?

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19 thoughts on “Freedom is never given . . . it is won (Philip Randolph)

  1. Very interesting post. I’ve never thought about freedom in the way you have related here, but I do think that some people are definitely more comfortable in their own skin than others. Age also seems to help with that. Once you reach a certain age, you realize that time is short and you don’t worry so much about the attitude/ judgments of others in regards to what you do or say.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m still a work in progress, and I’m not sure that age has really made a difference — I guess it does in some ways, but other ways I can actually be more uncomfortable with my body and its wrinkly and saggy skin. Which is why I would never run in just a bra and shorts, not even inside!

      Like

  2. Judy, this is one of your bests posts yet. Being comfortable in your own skin is not easy. We all wish that, I think, but for most of us, I’d say, it is not easily won. Worth the trouble to achieve, though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Connie; I’m not sure I agree that it’s one of my best posts, but I’ll take the compliment. 🙂

      I wanted to go in so many different directions; I just had real trouble focusing my thoughts.

      Like

  3. You put your finger on a huge freedom — by being at home with yourself, you free yourself of needing anyone else’s approval. I love that.

    Like

  4. Another blogger used a similar definition of freedom, that is, being alone. I never thought about freedom as being alone, but I do feel free when I’m alone. I like being alone because it doesn’t happen all that often. Of course, now that I have teenagers, I get more alone time and I crave their company! Ha! I can’t win. Guess that’s why I have a dog.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Solitude is precious. It’s not loneliness, a very different thing, but a time to think, regroup, enjoy one’s own thoughts, one’s own being. I enjoy alone time, revel in it. It’s a nice balance for family/friendship time.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. What a great perspective on freedom! I love my friends, but I also love my time alone. When my sons were tiny I never had any time alone and that’s why I got in the habit of staying up super late after they and my husband had gone to bed. I craved freedom, and it was during those late nights doing projects around the house alone that I found it! 🙂

    Thanks for linking up!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It definitely is freeing to feel comfortable with your body. I’ve always felt that running gives me that and makes me really appreciate my body, which is also freeing.

    Freedom for me is often going on outdoor adventures. I love being in the wilderness and exploring new places.

    Liked by 1 person

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