It’s still a myth if people can ever be so free as they wish they could be.
When the definition of freedom is: the power of or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint, there are also rules such as this: if you cut down a cactus in Arizona, you could be sentenced to 25 years in jail, even if the cactus is on your property.
In the society we are living in right now, the freedom is constructed under the basis of one’s belief, law in one’s living society and the freedom of others.
I was born in a place where freedom of speech was not strongly encouraged in school. We, since childhood, has been trained to be extra cautious of speech or action. You don’t ever want to ‘lose face.’ No, you don’t. Then, with the love from my parents, I was fortunate enough to move to a place where all kinds of perspectives are welcome. Even when you courageously take on a debate with your teacher, you get respect. However, the new environment is like a thick layer of Godzilla’s saliva, it stinks and blocks my vision. My eyes and throat suddenly become this malfunctioned filter that takes forever to process anything. Constantly, my head is indecisively contemplating whether what I’m about to say can go into one’s ears. And often times, I give up, and I give the silent treatment. I retreat to my little bubble, my little dark corner.
I’m feeling less free than ever.
My mind is filled with others’ judgments, opinions, perspectives, rules, guidelines, beliefs, theories, emotions, approvals, standards. Is there room for mine?
When will I ever be free from this suffocation?
Cover art by Elly Smallwood.