I am free. I have everything I need and I have a holiday. What more is there to wish for? Being free is interesting. It is so often closely related to the second part of the title of this post: freak out. Having a lot of freedom now, it is still possible to freak out of all the freedom, the possibilities, the responsibilities. I remember how when I graduated high school my semi-philosopher economy teacher, who quoted Johan Cruijf a lot, greeted or rather said goodbye to me: Enjoy your freedom. It is perhaps a not such a farfetched wish or advice to share with someone who goes into 3 months of holidays, but for some reason it is not inherent to our nature as humans. Perhaps it is just the Dutch, but we tend to complain. Having to little freedom, having nothing to do. Boredom.
Yesterday at connect group we discussed work, and how this relates to faith, or the bible. My favourite insights on work, freedom and living come from ecclesiastics. It says something like: when you have a lot of wealth and you know its worth, and you enjoy it, than this is a gift of God. Also: do what your hand finds, and enjoy what you get. ut just as well: a worker sleeps well after a day of work, but he who has a lot has a lot of worries. Of course these are paraphrases my own, but I think for me it strikes the core of what was so beautiful and complicate about being human. Being occupied, and being free. To actually enjoy what you have, and not being plagued by all kinds of worries is so beautiful and precious the bible calls it a Gift of God. Perhaps this makes little sense to the non-religious, but for me it really states that there is such value in loving and enjoying what you do, or what you don’t do for that matter.
Still there is a shadow side to a phrase like ‘Enjoy your freedom’. What if you do not enjoy your freedom? What if you feel lonely, useless or just downright bored? I have no quick fix answer to a question like that, and I guess it is better not to offer a solution: sometimes we have to learn to live with the fact that life is not always super enjoyable, or in case of my summer holidays: the sun does not always shine. One of the lessons I learn every time when I freak out, whether it is because of freedom of choice or the fact that I have to do something and I’m not sure if it works out, is that I should just trust myself (and god for that matter) and just go on with it. The fear that comes with freaking out (again) or the fear that comes with freedom might freak us out. But if we are truly free these freak outs are allowed to happen. We are allowed to fail, we’re allowed and encouraged to try again. Ever tried, ever failed, no matter, try again. Fail again. Fail better. -Samuel Beckett