to be your own

You want to be your own. You want to do things your way. You want to live the life that truly makes you happy.

Then you come out of school and get an education because that’s the way to get a job to make money to be able to buy a house, support a family and go on holiday. Before you know it, BAM, you’re trapped. You cannot do things your way anymore, because the boss is there, the bills have to be paid and the dishwasher emptied. That’s reality. That’s where reality comes in the way of the dreams we have, of the life that would truly make us happy.
This is not being your own. Having the freedom to decide wheter you do your taxes early or late, what car you drive or if you’ll have a hamburger or smoothie for lunch is not being your own. It is getting on the train of society and admitting to the rules until the train safely reaches its destination.

Since I was very young I have never understood this. Why would you get on the train? To be safe? The be the good girl. To not take responsibility for your own life? To be able to say ‘it was not my fault’ when things go wrong? Because everyone’s life will go wrong at some point. One day your soul start to scream this is not it! and the perfect wife and the perfect house and the perfect job and all the money in your saving account won’t mean anything. And you’ll hit yourself in the head with all the excuses you’ve made for yourself why you could not do what you really wanted to do.

I must say: I tried to get on the train when I started to study Journalism. I literally thought: ‘let’s try the good life. If it’s working for everybody else, why would it not work for me?’ Before the year was over I hitchhiked to the French Alps to do a season of skying with 200,- euros in my bank account.

In my heart I do not believe in the train, in a safe route, in money, in status, so there is no way for me to be on it. But everybody wants to feel safe, or feels the obligation to keep other people safe.
Between my 16th and my 36th I’ve had the continuous feeling I was not safe. I was anxious. It took me twenty years to find out I was not really scared to go crazy, to be left alone, to make a bad life for myself, to become ill. None of that. I was afraid I could not trust myself to be my own. To rely on myself and nothing else to live my life. To not protect anything, to not hold on to anything, to not be afraid to lose and have nobody to blame for it. I was afraid to live an open and honest life where I rule over bad and good. Because I had learned it was scary to not have money, to not be married, to not be accepted, to not have success. “That’s what you should be afraid”, of so I was.

I am done with being afraid. Twenty years in any kind of fear is a lot. Useless fear. Because after all I’m still here. No money, no success, no restrictions, no fear. There’s no train ride that can make you feel more free than this. I am my own and fully responsible for myself and my life. Nobody to blame for anything. I am free.

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