True Freedom.

I used to think freedom was escaping my hometown. Getting out of the cornfield and into the mean city streets. Now. I’m a bit sad. What freedom had meant to me for all those years has changed. I fear I may have left some of the best parts of myself somewhere in-between. 

Do you ever feel like you spend so much time trying to find yourself that maybe the person you wanted gets lost in the shuffle. Yeah, I feel you. That’s me right now. I feel like what freedom looks like to me right now is a crossroads of who I am now “The New York City Gal” mixed with “The Farm Girl Who’s Imagination Ran Wild”.  I am sad to say that in trying to achieve everything in the world (and more) all the time, I feel like the farm girl has maybe gotten lost in my own cornfield of plans. I must say I miss her and most of all what mattered to her. 

Freedom for her was reading books, getting lost in old houses, singing loud in her car with the windows down, supporting local musicians by going to small hometown shows, and (my favorite) taking time to watch the world go by. 

These are some moments of freedom which were part of my past but I am going to try my hardest to make them part of my future. I think we can truly find out who we are by looking to what we were drawn to as children. I loved to get dirt under my fingernails from hiking, making up recipes with found flowers and exploring the lake and forests on my parents beautiful farm (my favorite place in the world). It brings a tear to my eye thinking about all the adventures I had with my best friends just running around like crazies in the wonderful place I grew up (it felt like heaven to me).

One time my best friend Holly and I were playing in the pond on my parents property and we randomly decided to have a huge mud fight (the pond was full of the muddy kind of clay - we would also sometimes make sculptures out of it). Holly and I always had so much fun together because we both were big explorers. We would often go on hikes, explore abandoned houses, and generally get into shenanigans. Well, back to the mud fight…. after the fight we were so covered in mud we were barely recognizable. Little did we know (or rather we forgot) my older sister's prom was that day and her group of friends were taking photos… at my parents house!!! So Holly and I were walking up covered in mud head to toe right up to the dolled up prom crew, haha, it was awesome. I have a million more stories like this one. I loved my childhood. I really felt truly free. 

It really makes me ask the question. What changed? Where did the feeling of freedom go that seemed to resonate so strong in my more formidable years? Well, it sucks to say I don't have the answer right now, but I’m working on it. I’m working on remembering. Remembering what moments in my life I felt the most free. I crave these moments now more than ever. More adventures. More getting lost in new places. More imagining. More windows down while screaming out the lyrics until your voice shakes. More tears because at least that means you gave a damn about something in the first place. 

Now that is true freedom I can get behind. 

This Post is created in conjunction with the ladies of The Refined Collective. Be sure and read the other articles on Freedom today by Yvette JainJess KoehlerSarah Shreves, and The Refined Woman. Also, join us over on instagram today under #therefinedcollective.