Before it sets you free, life beats you up. It spits on you, curses you and drags you on the dirt. Before it exalts you, it crushes your spirit and breaks your faith. It deems you worthless. Like a beggar on the streets.
And even after all this, your freedom is not guaranteed.
I have been thinking about this freedom. What does it mean? What does it look like? What is to be done within it? What is not to be done? Is it even there? Or is it a creation of imagination and the human longing for a less occupying life?
At the initial thought of the promise of this freedom, our sense of purpose is inflamed. Our desire to experience this freedom is exaggerated. We make promises at the back of assumptions. But before it sets you free, life beats you up.
When I set out, I galloped gallantly. Like a warhorse. Carrying my weight, that of my past, that of my present, that of the future, the weight of my family, the weight of my friends, the weight of society. As the road got longer, my pace got slower. Because before it sets you free, life beats you up.
The weight a man carries gets heavier the longer it stays on him. Sooner rather than later, my knees were bending, my face was down and I could not see where the sun went. With every step, my trudge got painful.
Soon, my face was white and crusty with the salt of my sweat. My spine was bent in stress. My hands trembled like a wet cat. The sun that once shed light on my path now burned my eyes. The ground that once lead me forward now hated my yomp. The breeze that rejuvenated my strength and gave me hope now made me sick with a bad flu.
A bad flu.
Before it sets you free, life beats you up.
I have ended up stuck in bed, nursing my wounds. Alone and lonely. Vibrating on the spot. Vibrating less than I ought to be. The freedom I so coveted out the window. All I now do is have conversations in my head. Wondering why falling off the edge won’t take me down to hell. Wondering why I am still awake after I asked for death. Wondering why my demons won’t die only to learn that they know how to swim.
Life’s not done with its beating.