What Freedom Means to Me

The idea of freedom can mean so many things to so many different people. To some, it may refer to their rights: their freedom of speech, their right to vote,  their right to bear arms, et cetera. Freedom could mean to others that they have the ability to have a personal sense of identity, meaning, and purpose. It could even mean that we are able to pursue whatever it is we want to in our lives, be it going to college, becoming doctors, traveling the world, climbing mountains, whatever makes us happy.

But to me, freedom means something else.

To me, freedom refers to time and financial freedom. These two freedoms combined offer me the life I have always dreamed of- one where I would no longer be worrying about money and one that allowed me to escape from the 9 to 5 work constraints. I would dream at night (and during the day!) about starting my day off with yoga, maybe a run, then working on a business of my own from the comfort of my own home, taking breaks throughout the day to run errands, go for walks, stop at the local coffee shop, grab lunch with a friend and anything else I’d feel like doing. I dreamed of taking off on a plane to anywhere in the world I wanted whenever I wanted, spending weeks at a time traveling around Europe or Southeast Asia, maybe South America. Or maybe I would climb Mount Kilimanjaro, or sit on a beach drinking Mai Tais, or rent a cabin with a scenic view in a cute little mountain town in Colorado.

The options were endless in my dreams.

However, at the time of these dreams, I was stuck in a 9 to 5 making $36,000 and only getting two weeks off a year. Time and financial freedom were nowhere on my horizon and I was going to be lucky if I would have four or five weeks off and make $45,000 a year at 50.

I wasn’t okay with that.

I wasn’t okay with waiting until 50 to MAYBE be able to have more time and financial freedom and I sure as hell was not okay with waiting until I retire to start traveling the world and actually enjoying my life. I wasn’t okay with working my ass off for 40 hours a week for 40 plus years at a job that I didn’t care about and that would replace me in a day if something happened to me. I wasn’t okay with sticking with the status quo and trying to find happiness working for someone else’s dream.

So I took a chance.

I quit my 9 to 5 and became my own boss working for my own company. I stopped working 9 to 5 and started working when I wanted to on things that I wanted to work on. I ACTUALLY started loving what I do and looked forward to getting out of bed in the morning. I stopped dreading Mondays and waiting for the weekend. I started LIVING again and became the happiest I have ever been.

Freedom can mean many things. For me, it’s living my life by my design without any time of financial restraints. For you, that could be to travel to every continent, or become a lawyer, or even to speak at a rally. No matter what freedom means to you, I hope you are exercising it to its fullest by using it to achieve your dreams, because you deserve it!