I personally think one of, if not the most, valuable things in life is our freedom. Often times we don’t appreciate it until its gone. It’s taken for granted until all of a sudden you are placed in a situation that restricts your freedom. Ironically, for me it was the opposite situation that opened my eyes to how valuable freedom actually is. I grew up in a strict home, strict school, and strict church, mainly to due to the conservative Christian nature of the area that I grew up in. Although frustrating at times, I came to accept that it was just the way things were done. It was not until I reached college that I began to realize how much potential had been held back due to unnecessary restrictions. I was actually allowed to wear what I wanted in terms of dress code, such as a hat and jeans (something I could not do in high school). There were no demerits or detentions for showing up late to class or other stupid things. Obviously you have to be responsible when given that kind of freedom, but I would rather learn from my mistakes than have someone tell me what to do any day of the week.
My freedom was taken to another level this past summer, when I lived in Boston on my own while working an internship. It was all of the little things that added up. I could decide when, where, and what I wanted to eat. I didn’t have to ask permission to go out at night, to have friends over, or be home at a certain time. I enjoyed even more freedom at work, where I was given flexibility in terms of showing up and leaving, taking lunch break whenever and wherever I wanted, and the power to personally set up meetings with upper level management to review my project and ask for advice. I was given a lot of control over both of my projects as well. Since they both involved either revamping or creating a model out of scratch, I had the opportunity to create the data filtering and importing process, determine what information was important, create my own personal layout, and decide what enhanced features I wanted to add to make the model even better. Needless to say I cannot wait to return to Boston and experience the freedom and respect on a professional level that I feel I deserve.
I strongly value freedom on a personal level as well. I am extremely cautious about letting other people have control over my happiness. I think emotional freedom is important in a lot of ways. This is just one of many reasons I have been skeptical towards relationships. When things are going great, it can be a wonderful thing, but letting someone else control your emotions is a dangerous thing. There are many restrictions in relationships that people have to deal with. I have personally seen these restrictions do more harm than good in the relationships of people I know. It is a risk worth taking for many people, but something I have definitely reconsidered after realizing just how important my freedom is to me. Many people are willing to sacrifice freedom for happiness, and I don’t blame them at all. It really comes down to what is most important to you on a personal level. I value the freedom to have the social life that I currently do, something that would not be possible in a relationship. It is an easy decision for me, but one worth explaining nonetheless. I am able to enjoy the best of both worlds because I value my friends more than anyone I could ever be in a relationship with. That is why I have been able to optimize my happiness as someone who is both happy and free.
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