Free-Spirited Singleness

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I’m not a rebellious person. But I am a free spirit. Others often get the two mixed up.

I didn’t like to go to school. It’s natural to neglect that which you do not like… School was often neglected. My teachers told me if I did not show up to school, I would never show up to work and I would never hold down a real job. They mistook me for a rebel. A rebel does not show up because she is told to show up. A rebel is looking for someone or something to defy. A free spirit, on the other hand, is looking for a choice. A free spirit does not show up because she did not feel like showing up. A rebel can’t hold down a job because she cannot fight the compulsion to go against that which she is told. A free spirit can hold down a job, because she realizes choices have consequences, and those consequences help her decide how to make those choices she values so much.

I often skipped school to prove that I had a choice. I did not have to be there – although I was always told that I did. I went when I so desired. Many of my teachers viewed me as a rebel – acting out. In all reality, I was exercizing my love for freedom by escaping the prison I envisioned school to be.

I will always be a freedom-lover. It shows up in every aspect of my life. 90% I would choose to wear my seatbelt. No matter what. It’s a natural instinct to reach for the strap and stretch it across my body. But I resent the fact that wearing a seatbelt is forced upon me. If I don’t feel like wearing my seatbelt, I choose to flip off the government by hopping on my motorcycle instead. I equally resent that in New York it is mandatory to wear a helmet on a motorcycle. If I lived in another state, a state where riding without a helmet is legal, I would still choose to wear a helmet. Why? Because I appreciate my face. But I hate that I don’t have a choice where I live. I hate that my freedom is limited.

My free spirit, by nature, runs from boundaries. I felt as if my teeth were being pulled when a man asked me to commit to work for his company for at least a year during an interview. It took me at least three minutes to agree that I could commit for a year. I’m now approaching my fifth year with that same company. When I signed a year-long lease for my apartment, I nearly panicked. What if I want to move? What if I have the opportunity to live in another country before my lease is up? I sucked it up and signed the lease. My year has passed. Two months after my lease ended, my landlord and landlady brought before me a new lease. I told them that as long as I had a choice, I’d rather not sign a new one. I assured them I had no plans to move (because I don’t), but as long as I have access to that freedom – why give it up?

It’s this love for freedom that leads to my hesitation toward commitment. Hesitation? Okay, fear of commitment. Fear? Fine, terror.

I see a cage. It’s not that I do not want to get married. I want a choice. As long as I am single, I have a choice. If ever I get married, I will give up that freedom. It’s not that marriage is bad. It’s not that marriage should be compared to bondage. But it’s a commitment that eliminates the freedom I so enjoy. I imagine if I ever enter that covenant, it will be similar to my job or my lease. Despite my concerns, it will last and I will appreciate it until the end. But for my lease and for my job I promised a year. In marriage I will promise a lifetime. Anyone else feel intimidated by that?

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