To Be Free

As people of color in America we are constantly striving to be free. To have and feel freedom. Why is that? We aren’t slaves anymore, yet we still strive for freedom and justice and happiness and all of these things that should be a given within the span of our lives right? So let’s stop and think. What does freedom actually mean and what could it look like if we were to delete everything we know to be true and live a completely different reality that would truly allow us to

Though this is a loaded topic that can be discussed from many different lenses, lets focus on the rat race our society forces us to be a part of. Find a job they say. Persuade this rich white man that he needs to give you money to help him build his wealth. Work for him for the rest of your life. Forget about what you want to do, what you feel or love. Your job is to make money to pay for things {that should be free in the first place} because you need them to live (food/shelter, etc). Surround yourself around coworkers you hate and work you think is useless just to continue to strive for a false sense of security and artificial happiness. Do you all realize how dependent we are on total strangers who really should have no say or care about the trajectory of our lives?

Think about it. The amount of choice we’re allowed to have in life is based off of a very narrow scope that our world has chosen to allow us to see. We leave our parents home and school (safety nets) to jump into the workforce which offers us all of the things our parents did (money for food, shelter, medical, savings) Your job is essentially your new parent (if you’re lucky enough to get a job with new benefits) and like living with your parents your job is both heavily regulated and full of rules which may leave you yearning to find something new that doesn’t make you feel constricted. But guess what? You probably won’t find it. Jobs are just another form of authority over our lives. We’re taught to depend and not to ever really rely or fend fully for ourselves. So we continue to seek security, purpose and validation while giving up a portion of our freedom and peace of mind in the process. Even without a job the government regulates who gets free health insurance and money for food.

Real freedom stems from learning how to stop living off of our twisted system. Obtaining the right to choice gives us the key to self-actualized happiness and creates a more diverse world. The system depends on our lack of knowledge and weak will. Society is the mean girl in high school that picks on everyone. Don’t be friends with society. She’s insecure and feeds off of our fears.

The key is to realize all of this. The key is to awaken young grasshopper for you are oppressed. The moment in which you realize you are oppressed is the moment in which the real work begins. Figuring out how to free yourself of these unwanted restrictions. It is the biggest issue in the world. Let’s just focus on you for now though.

Let’s talk about this freedom utopia I seem to be so infatuated with. The freedom that we believe will ultimately make oppression obsolete. Sike. As long as capitalism reigns you will probably always feel oppressed in America. Even people with money are oppressed in this world. They are still forced to stay in line and follow the rules. Let’s stay in reality here. I’ll share with you what I think is a way to stay sane and above water in a society that takes joy in seeing people drown.

We believe freedom is synonymous with happiness, however I believe freedom truly stems not from ultimately being free, but being free from. Freedom to me actually sounds quite empty. Free from obligation, love, success, expectation. Freedom sounds like a room with white walls. But to actually be free from sounds like a goal and an accomplishment in reaching your highest potential. To be free from keeps your spirits high and hope alive. Free from insensitivity, free from judgement. Free from addiction. Free from insecurity. Work on how to individually free yourself from the many things that cause anguish within your world one step at a time. Free yourself from stress by changing your daily routine. Free yourself from negativity by finding a new job, changing up your circle of friends, taking a break from toxic family, etc. Don’t be afraid to enact positive change in order to improve your quality of life.

Freedom is a destination that could leave you wanting more. Being free from is a process and a journey to self discovery and a life of satisfaction with what is, but also a drive and pursuit to seeking even better.

As people of color in America we live a life of survival. We have long lives to live so let’s continue to focus on the journey instead of the destination and work to freeing ourselves from the little oppressions of everyday life. Don’t forget to breathe. It all begins with a plan, being present and taking that first step.

Start your journey to becoming free.


Kimberly R Williams is an independent hybrid Graphic and Interior Designer also known under Clear Consulting. Her design style is minimalist inspired and she specializes in sustainable interiors and strategic graphic design. When she’s not working with individuals, businesses and nonprofits all around the country to obtain good design she’s either hosting events for her local Alumni Chapter (SU ‘16) or baking krazi cakes in her apartment in Atlanta, GA. Connect with her on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

#utopianthoughts series by Kimberlyrwill

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