This Independence Day I have freedom on my mind. Freedom isn’t something that I think about all the time, but I want to take a few minutes today to reflect and give thanks. I feel very lucky with the way my life is today and I owe a lot of that to the freedom I’ve had to make a lot of choices along the way.
Can you imagine living without independence and being able to make your own choices? How paralyzing, claustrophobic, frustrating, and dire that would be. And the sad thing is there are still people out there in the world today who don’t have many of the freedoms that we do. It’s hard to truly understand their circumstances having not experienced them ourselves, but we should try hard to never take our freedoms for granted.
We are all quite fortunate. So try and take a minute yourself to say thanks to the many freedoms you have in your life this Independence Day. Here are some of the freedoms I am especially thankful for this year.
Freedom Of Public Voice And Sharing Whatever We Want
As a writer, freedom of expression and being able to share my own voice is priceless. I realize that I rarely have anything very controversial or vexing to say, but it is still incredibly freeing and empowering to be able to publicly publish whatever I want, whenever I want on this site.
I chuckle that I used to be so self conscious about my own voice and never thought I could become a writer. I didn’t think anyone would ever care what I have to say, and I was always worried about what I should write about. Fortunately, I’ve learned that confidence can be developed with practice and it becomes much less intimidating to speak up over time.
I’ve also learned over the last several years that being able to share my own experiences, opinions, and advice is what I enjoy the most about writing. Sometimes it can feel a bit uncomfortable talking about personal things, but that’s another beauty of freedom – I can say as little or as much as I like. And even though I’m not a big social media sharer, it’s nice knowing I can share as much or as little as I feel like. I still find it baffling that sites like Twitter and Facebook are blocked in parts of the world like China and the UAE.
Freedom And Greater Equality Of Women, Stand Up Ladies!
I feel very fortunate that I was able to spend some of my education in all girls classes. I think a lot of girls and young women suffer from low self confidence, and I was one of them for many years. Being able to go to school and learn from intelligent, energetic female teachers had such a positive influence on my life. And I really believe those all girls classes really boosted my self esteem and helped me get over my fear of speaking up.
Having such support from other females, I can’t imagine growing up in an environment where girls are discouraged from going to college or are pressured to keep quiet, stay at home, and act subservient to men all the time. How sad and unfair. So I feel very lucky to live in a country and a society where women have equal rights as men. And although there are still hurdles and wage gaps for women in the workplace, they are shrinking, and more positive change happens every day.
Freedom Of Adventure To Roam, Wander, Trek And Travel The World
I’ve had a passport since I was about three months old. I didn’t even realize I had one that young until I stumbled across it a few years ago when I was emptying some drawers at my mom’s house. It was so funny, and rather adorable I must say, to open up an expired passport and see my baby picture in it.
I’ve been on the road for most of my life, so it’s hard for me to imagine life without the freedom to travel, even though I do get a bit burnt out at times.
I think it’s incredible that we have the rights to travel (practically) anywhere in the world. Of course it takes means and time to be able to do so, but I love that we have the freedom to just pack a bag and go anywhere.
Some of you may be too young to remember, but I will never forget watching the Berlin Wall fall on TV. I can’t imagine how hard it must have been for so many families and loved ones forced to stay apart from each other for years by that wall. It was a memorable day when the Wall came down.
Freedom To Choose, Change, And Grow Our Careers
I think life is too short to only do one thing. Having the freedom to choose how to earn a living is a right we shouldn’t take for granted. Work is such a huge part of our lives, and having the freedom to decide what work we do is priceless.
And even though it isn’t always easy, and is often scary, it’s a great feeling knowing that we can change and walk away from careers and companies whenever we want to. I can’t imagine being told what type of job I had to do and not having any control to change that.
Freedom Of Lifestyle And Living The Life We Want
Freedom of lifestyle is a big one for me. I am so grateful to have the freedom to be myself and not have to hold back. I love that I have the freedom to choose my friends and the people I associate with. How awful would it be if we were forced to hang out with people we didn’t like, especially in our free time?
We all change as we grow up, relocate, and live our lives, and as a result I’ve changed circles of friends many times. I also really love having the independence to have total control over my own lifestyle. We’re fortunate to be able to pick and choose the activities we participate in, who we do them with, when, where, and how. Being in control of our own lifestyles is a big theme of Untemplater after all.
Freedom Of Financial Independence And Earning Money However We Want
My list wouldn’t be complete without giving thanks for the benefits of financial independence. I grew up in a lower middle class family, and made my way through school with scholarships, loans, and part time jobs. I’m very proud that I became completely financially independent from my parents fairly quickly after graduation and now I can help them out for a change. Making money isn’t everything, but it certainly gives us more options in life, and it’s a great feeling being able to give back.
I’m grateful for the ability to earn multiple income streams, and have total control in how I invest, save, and spend my money. Sure there could be a lot of improvements to the taxation system, but I’m pretty happy with my take home pay now, and fortunately no longer have monetary stress. I enjoy being frugal and finding ways to save so I’ll have even more freedom when I’m ready to fully retire.
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I’ve been blogging since 2010 and it has allowed me to break free from the corporate grind to travel, work from home, consult for companies that I like, and do so many more things I’ve always wanted to do but couldn’t. The income is relatively passive as posts I’ve written years ago are still being found through Google and generating income. What’s better than making passive income and creating a valuable asset you can one day sell for a multiple of annual income?
I’ve conquered my biggest fears by going off on my own thanks to this website and it feels wonderful. Not a week goes by where I’m not thankful for starting this website to live the life I want to live!
Updated for 2016 and beyond