A Millenial Meditation on Freedom

Someday I’ll pack up a suitcase and load it onto the back of this bike, and pedal off until I reached a quaint motel somewhere, by the sea.

The sun will be setting as I unload my luggage into my room for the night, and I’ll spread all the maps and guidebooks on my bed, deciding where to go next. Maybe I’ll hop a ferry to Hong Kong, or pedal up the coast past the salty surf of Big Sur, and get lost in the wet wilderness of the Pacific Northwest.

My heart aches for adventure.

I find myself seeking both freedom and rootedness, adding a pinch of one here, a splash of the other there.

But it seeks domesticity too: it yearns for the soft down of laundered pillows and comforters, in a clean room with sunlight streaming in. To wake up in the morning and put the kettle on, or make a batch of strong, dark coffee in the french press. And then sit down to write. Or simply stare out the window, and daydream.

I find myself seeking both freedom and rootedness, adding a pinch of one here, a splash of the other there– experimenting for the right balance, just as you add salt to complement lime in a summer salad.

When the restlessness sets in, a day hike or an Airbnb weekend away will quench my thirst for a while. But the grand adventure still beckons– and it is that, which I long for, above all: a life well lived, not simply full of variety, but of meaningful experience.

Surely both domesticity and adventure can be had, in alternating doses.

It is this question which the decade of the twenties begs: what does liberty look like, to me, to you? Is it a couch in a sunlit apartment, on a summer afternoon, with Hemingway and an iced tea? (Currently for me, this involves a hefty Los Angeles rent, a full time job, and a car payment to be able to commute to said job.) Or is it a backpack, Cheryl Strayed Wild style? (Here the price is loneliness, and perhaps postponing growing a meaningful career.) Surely both domesticity and adventure can be had, in alternating doses. Perhaps they’re even complementary, like the sun and the moon– one beckons the other. That would be a perfectly designed world, and it is one in which I have faith.

Oh, but the how still beckons. Twenties, must you be so expansive in your possibilities, for which we are blessed?

Originally published at The Dream Colony.