The sweet taste of freedom

Freedom is a word with countless definitions. To some people it may mean escaping the boring treachery of the walls that confine them in school or work, to others it may be the ability to choose their own future and determine their own destiny. For many, it is the freedom to pretty much do, say, and please whatever their little heart desires, in thanks to the immense liberties and incomparable resources we are granted in America. While I recognize and am grateful for these imperative amenities, to me, at this very moment in time, I am focused on one simple and new found definition of freedom — driving.

Yes, you understood that correctly ladies and gentlemen, about two weeks ago my parents officially handed my keys back over to me and I am finally able to roam the roads at my leisure once more. To say I was happy is an understatement, really, to say I was elated is an understatement. I was absolutely ecstatic.

After nearly eight months of being restricted from operating any sort of heavy machinery in vehicle form, being in the car again on my own, behind the wheel, completely in control is a feeling I do not think I could ever properly relate. It was almost like a little slice of heaven had been granted to me on Earth once more, and I have been lapping up every bit of it ever since I have gotten the chance.

I now jump at any occasion to give someone a ride, I actually ask and persistently volunteer myself until someone finally gives in. Running little errands or taking a drive to places like Forest Park or the Galleria has become my haven, my addiction. The ability to just get and up and go somewhere on my own without having to pester anyone to help get me there is intoxicating, invigorating. I am loving every second of this, and if my appreciation for simple tasks such as driving was not at its proper level before this moment, let me tell you, it has certainly far exceeded that point now. I am continuously grateful for this ability to be restored to me, and it never really hit me until I fell ill last year how much we really take for granted, even the little things like driving a car.

As I am still in recovery, my energy levels still prohibit me sometimes from being able to practice this latest freedom. School, homework, and my social life still wear me out considerably, and when my energy reserve is running low, unfortunately my ability to drive diminishes as well. The driving itself has seem to taken a toll on me also, especially if I am making significantly longer trips, but I have learned to preserve my energies in other areas to use it simply to drive. It is a bit of a give and take situation, but I would not trade it for anything else. I know pretty soon I won’t even have to worry about matters such as this anymore, so I don’t let it get me down too much while it lasts.

As I have learned to focus on all that I can do instead of all that I can’t, I have and will continue to soak up every blissful second spent in the car. There is just something about driving on your own on a warm night, when the moon is full and bright, the music is playing, the windows are rolled down, the wind blowing through your hair…when all at once you feel totally at peace with not only yourself, but the world as a whole. When everything feels perfect and your problems just dissipate behind you. It’s truly an incomparable feeling, one that cannot be replaced. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, try it for yourself and just take a ride. Get away for a bit, relieve some stress. Grab your keys and just go. Maybe I’ll see you on the road.