I am curious about how people define things. Lately, it’s been the concept of “free spirit” and being “carefree”. How do you define someone who is a free spirit or someone who is carefree in a patriarchal and capitalist world? Even more-so, who is allowed to be carefree or a free spirit? Also, why is the pursuit of carefree-ness something that is pushed upon us, something to strive for? Whose purpose is it serving?
I have jokingly said that I exhibit many of the described middle child syndrome characteristics and as I think and remember about my childhood, I realise I was plagued with people pleasing and being overly helpful. I legitimately felt that I was not seen. As a coping mechanism, I portrayed myself as happy go lucky, smiley, free from worry etc. Some of the characteristics associated with being carefree.
But as I work on seeing and listening to myself and remove “influence”, “conditioning” etc I become more me. And the me I am, isn’t even slightly what I thought or acted. There is nothing carefree about my existence. I don’t seek it and I am OK with that. My compass always points towards me and whatever my North is.
I always come back to this:
“I fear others will discover that I am not only imperfect; I’m not even okay. I fear that I truly am not okay. But most people who meet me never know that I am struggling. On the outside I am smiling. I am juggling all the balls of okayness: physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, existential. Underneath, I am suffocating.”
― Melissa Broder, So Sad Today: Personal Essays