The Most Revered Word in My World

The most revered word in the world to me is F-R-E-E-D-O-M.

Freedom makes me sit back, close my eyes, and contemplate all the different ways the word is conjured up.

From its most primitive form FREEDOM instills the undoing of slavery to all peoples, and the freeing of people shackled unjustly for religious, political, and scientific beliefs.

After that, there is a hierarchy of freedoms that follows. I am going to concentrate on what the means personally means to me, here in 2016.

When we are little, we have a natural instinct to run. Run away in fact from those that love and care about us. We run because we can, and we are secure with our parents or caregivers to do so.

As we get a little bit older, we look for freedom in ways which a normal 9-13 year old looks for freedom, in staying up passed our regularly scheduled bedtime, eating an extra bowl of ice cream, staying up late and talking all night with one of our friends, and many more ways that I can’t remember now that I am forty. I know it is at this age, that I discovered the freedom of expression of my thoughts and ideas through writing. I kept books, and wrote my feelings, and how I felt about certain people. This was especially true for my parents who I had begun to realize were not perfect, although the pretty much expected that out of me. It is when I discovered hypocrisy and what it truly meant not just with my parents, but with other adults who affected my daily life. It was a time of great self-expression, as I put pen to paper and wrote what I had always carried in my head, but now could write and articulate in a very primitive way. It wasn’t subversive, or clandestine it was pretty pure and I wasn’t a child filled with much dark thoughts on paper.

There was enough darkness in my home life with my father in particular, and I learned I could argue free of all punishment through paper and pen.

Around 13-18, freedom took a turn away from my parents. It was natural I believe at least for some teenagers, and I discovered the art of freedom of self-expression. This manifested itself in the way I could push boundaries with my haircuts, my choice of clothes, which took on a whole new meaning. Dressing as a school aged teenager I found that through clothes to the extent my parents allowed, I could express my personality and maybe my thoughts about societal norms I found binding and restrictive. I was not a partier in high school, as that time would come later, so I did not stray far from my fold.  I also began to write persuasive papers in school, that were controversial in topic matter, but didn’t stand out otherwise.

The summer after my senior graduation proved to be a deciding game changer for Corey Britton. I began my true experimental phase in earnest and participated in sex and drinking for the first time ever in my life. I had one heck of an experiment gala for the entire summer that continued right through my college years. Not much of a rule breaker I never tried  illicit drugs, or anything wild sexually and enjoyed myself immensely while pushing the self-expression button of my clothes and hair to further depth and societal variance as I really liked using my clothes, hair, and now body piercings to demonstrate my non-conforming ways.

In the work place, after college, I had a really impressive job where there was a lot of age discrimination and gender discrimination played out on me. Here I picked up spiritual views that were not popular and got even more tattoos as I worked very hard and played even harder. It was then that I truly learned what freedom was and wasn’t to me, and needed to figure out a way to get through the next 40 years of what was shaping up to be my prospective work life.

I was living and working in New York City and everyday I watched miserable looking people board the subways bound for work, that they all looked like a herd of cattle being shoved into a freight train. I realized I couldn’t have this be my life, and needed a way out and I needed it faster rather than slower.  I set out to retire by 26, and with 17 hour work days, working 7 days a week, by the time my daughter was born at twenty six, I was able to walk away from my career and never look back. It is one of the most defining moments and aspects about me.

I realized for me, as is still the case right now, that working in a building and not enjoying the summers and putting in my forty years was not something I could constitutionally do. I needed freedom of myself and from the entrapments of work to be happy and breath deeply as they say. Today I am working on my PhD for my own reasons and may decide to work in the requisite field for 10 years, or maybe I won’t. I learned I am a rare person for not accepting the status quo, and for getting out of the workplace, and off the hamster wheel as quickly as I could.

I live a rarified life. I don’t wake up to alarm clocks unless I have a scheduled appointment and I wear my clothes as I want, and as they have truly become a personal part of me. I don’t have piercings anymore, but quite a bit of ink, and my hair is dyed a bright platinum blonde which is pretty much one of my signature aspects of myself. I participate in society so there are some societal norms I partake in, but never will I ever work a plain 9-5 job or lose my sense of freedom that as the years have passed I have only learned to appreciate more.

I march to the beat of my own drum, and fully understand some people just don’t get or understand me. I wouldn’t change a thing, and in fact, the idea of returning to the work force seems a bit of a stretch for me personally. I continue to value my freedom to the highest degree, and would be wiled and baked if I ever HAD to join the work force again. I am not a person without major goals or ambitions, so staying busy and having goals is something I am drawn to and thrive off of in my daily life. I am an overachiever who has definitely taken the path less traveled although the younger generations seem to be leaning my way. They have only one problem: they didn’t sell their soul to the devil for years to get out of the conventional workplace, and thus they value their freedom and autonomy but have no means of supporting it. Freedom is the ultimate word, and concept in my Universe, and I would not be able to do all the things that interest me without the freedom I worked so hard and vigorously to attain.