Since You’ve Been Gone, I Can Do Whatever I Want

Freedom. One of the most beautiful words in any language. Fought for, bled for, and people died for it. Some consider freedom to be the highest state of human existence. Free to say or do whatever you want, whenever you want, wherever you want, with whomever you want. That’s the problem.

I used to think like that. In youth, one bristles against the control imposed by others. Go to school, study, work hard and someday you can get a good job. Once there, you can take orders from your boss who tells you what to work on, when it needs to be done, and warns you of consequences if you fail. If only you could be free.

There sparks the dream of self-employment. No bosses telling you what hours to work. Where to be. What to do. The only one you answer to is…all of your own customers. They can be more demanding than a boss in a salaried position. Customers don’t care about you at all. They simply want your product or service at their convenience. Their convenience may not align with your idea of convenience. Too bad.

What to do? You could write a harsh Internet blog that essentially alienates you from all current or future customers. That would solve their tyrannical hold on you. Then what? With no customers, your time is free. The downside, so is your income. Freed from incoming.

In relationships, you could be free to pursue anyone you desire. There are downsides to that as well. They may not reciprocate. Moving from one short-term pursuit to another converts your relationships into shallow events with little depth of meaning. Eventually, your own spirit begins to starve for the deeper rewards that come with long-term, heavily-invested relationships.

“Since you’ve been gone, I can do whatever I want” goes the song sung by Sinead O’Connor, Nothing Compares 2U. It’s a sad ballad describing the pain and loneliness of shallow and broken relationships.

It’s sad because of how true it is. Invest in your relationships. Work to make them deep and strong. Spend the time both exciting and boring. It’s worth it.

Take the third line of the last song you heard, make it your post title, and write for a maximum of 15 minutes. GO!

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