During my trip to New Milford, my camera and I were best buddies.
One of the gems of our friendship was this picture of an unfortunate bee (and random leaf), tangled in the sticky webs of a clever spider. The poor thing had stopped struggling, and as the spider crept towards it, it seemed to have accepted its fate – or perhaps, he had stopped moving because he had already died.
I’ll never know.
I know only that my heart would have given out before the spider was within an inch of me, had I been that little bee. I can’t stand to be trapped. I hate confined spaces. I hate restrictions. I’ve stated time and time again, my absolute love of freedom and the great lengths I will go to, in order to secure it.
In the past year, I’ve met a lot of people who share a similar sentiment, but after getting to know them, I’ve come to doubt that they ever knew what freedom was. How could they, when many of them had willingly given it up to enjoy being slaves to other masters that were just more to their preference?
When we think of being trapped, we think of being stuck in a car that just burst into flames on the freeway; or having your leg stuck in a hole, with a train racing towards you at 200 km per hour – or maybe that’s just me… Some (less dramatic) people might think of a bad marriage, or committing to a bachelors’ degree that you find out halfway through is just not for you.
But for me, the worst kind of trap is the ones we volunteer ourselves to. It’s our addictions. Many of the people I met were habitual smokers of tobacco and weed, alcoholics, or stacking up numbers in their bank account for an ego trip. I couldn’t imagine how any of that tasted like freedom.
I have my own addictions, as well. We all do. But I try to avoid the addictions that aren’t beneficial to me and my growth as an individual – the addictions that infringe on my independence, and my budget!
Maybe some of them are not as beneficial as I’d like to think and I haven’t figured it out yet. It takes conscious effort to evaluate the things we love and love to do, and far more effort to let them go.
They didn’t become addictions because they’re kinda fun. They became addictions because they became interwoven into our lives, and we came to accept them as a condition of our existence. That’s pretty intense stuff to let go of!
Even so, I think some addictions are obviously bad. I don’t want nicotine cravings. I don’t want to have to hunt down a guy at 3:00 in the morning to get my fix and then join lobby groups to support the national right for us all to have our fixes, and then call those fixes freedom.
I don’t want to cultivate any desire to drink so much that I have to walk home and pick my car up in the morning, just so I can “feel free” and confident enough to chat up people at a bar. I don’t want designer devices and clothing to make me fit in, anywhere. I don’t want any external thing to be my crutch to hold me up towards being the person I want to be.
My crutch should always be my own two legs.
That’s all I need.