Freedom // My Magnum Opus

CW: Sexual assault

Note: Yet another old draft. Didn’t realize I had so many. I feel like I might ramble on a bit in this one so I might come back and fix it later.

Nina Simone once said that to her, freedom is “no fear”. A video about juke and music referred to being free in the physical sense. Dancing in an “unnatural” way, “untethered to gravity”. I feel like I’ve been hearing about freedom more and more recently, and it’s definitely been on my mind for a while. I started really thinking about it when I realized I sigh a lot almost in an attempt to get a weight off my chest (I’m sure it’s mental). Then I realized that I second guessed myself a lot, kept myself from doing or saying things by playing out what could happen in my head (usually with a negative outcome, like making people feel uncomfortable). That for a long time I found comfort in solitude just because I had known it for so long, even though it tormented me. Everything I do is pre-meditated, choreographed, planned out. And as one would expect it’s exhausting. I can’t walk into class if I’m more than maybe 3 minutes late because having to look around for a seat mid-lecture isn’t worth it to me.

It’s my relationships too. As a sexual assault survivor several times over I have my walls up. For years I’ve envied other girls who seem to let go and be themselves so easily. I’ve been dreaming of letting myself be vulnerable for a while now. I’ll let my guard down for a moment, in the right company and circumstances, and be happy. I’ll note that the people/person I’m with isn’t judging me or giving a negative response, and tell myself that maybe it’s okay. I can think of maybe two people I’ve ever fully let my guard down with. I saw one not too long ago, and even though our relationship was never romantic or sexual, it is a deep one. We were still comfortable, and fit back into things really smoothly. Our hands found each other when we were walking side-by-side, and our fingers linked. Back at the apartment he was staying in, we cuddled in silence. We were comfortable like that, just enjoying each other’s company. He talked about a date he was going on with an old crush from home, and I wished him the best of luck. I don’t know his date but he seems like a nice guy. It was the first time in a while that I had been vulnerable, with no filters, and I miss it.

I wrote this in the winter, and was gonna make a related post about vulnerability but decided to add to this one bc it talks about precedents. I’m in an LDR now, and even though our time together in-person was brief I don’t think I was ever really reserved with them. Maybe because we were friends for a good while beforehand. I don’t withhold my personality or anything from people, but it’s nice having people around me that I can actively be vulnerable around, like be in my bonnet, sit together in silence or sprawl out or whatever. I can’t think of any actions I do only when vulnerable/comfortable, it’s more my general mindset which the person I’m comfortable with may or may not notice. Maybe it’s trust, I guess? That makes sense. I am glad to have people in my life that I trust. I had people before the LDR of course, like my family and friends, but with a relationship it’s different. Like with most people I did have a “warming-up” period, but nothing ever really triggered me to the extent I was worried about, even in the sexual aspect of things. Most likely because they’re comfortable. I’m comfortable. I think that’s a type of freedom in itself too. I’m happy about that as I continue working on trusting myself as well, and not being so meticulous about things that don’t necessarily need to be super mulled over. As I address the “fears” Nina Simone might have been talking about, I find that many of them weren’t scary at all.

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