10 Nov 2012

Smells Like Free Spirit (Part 3)

"I like too many things and get all confused and hung-up running from one falling star to another till I drop. This is the night, what it does to you. I had nothing to offer anybody except my own confusion." - Jack Kerouac, On the Road, 1957, Part 2, Ch. 4

How do I do it as a free spirit, I hear you ask? For starters, being labelled a free spirit is a revelation because I never thought worthy of such a privilege! I never saw myself that interesting! Now that I am taking this on board, I'd better live up to it and that might take some adjusting, after years of the 'obligated' conformist lifestyle, following lines of conduct, business protocoles and abiding to company mission statements, flirting with the upsides of capitalism and suffering from its downsides too.

Via We Heart It

Pretending to be someone I wasn't and looking for answers in all the wrong places, feeding off the fleeting buzz off a new material purchase or upscale social event, I was lying to myself and in those late-night blurs, in my darkest minute with caked-in make-up around teary eyes checking my reflection in the bathroom mirror, when suddenly hit by the solitude of it all, it would briefly dawn on me that this lifestyle would never satisfy me, my soul, my spirit, my heart.

I felt trapped. I kept thinking: 'Is that it? Is that all there is to life? To make money and to spend it?' Then I would brush my doubts off, get up and go back to where I had come from, the office, the long commutes, the airport lobby, the party, the fakes and the doppelgangers. I had to because questioning my choices at that pressured moment in my life would have been to admit I had been wrong all - or at least most of - the way, and it takes courage and a certain form of abnegation to get to admit that! The timing wasn't right. I had spiritedness as a state of mind but at that moment in time I couldn't liberate it and be myself.

'Sleeping Angel' (Highgate Cemetery), photo by Ben Jeffrey, via Flickr

So then for the sake of research, can we capture the essence of a free spirit? Or is it too rare, unique, evanescent and elusive to be bottled into an eau de parfum? Well, you can say that again! Actually if you described it as 'a little je ne sais quoi', you might get close to a definition. But if you're not happy with that, I will venture a few reflections. A free spirit stands out with their views (and for their views!) and their ways of thinking. They stand up from the masses and sometimes they stand alone. They do not tend to follow the herds, which is why seasoned marketers and advertisers must have a field day trying to 'sell' them the coolness of their brands!

Via Pinterest

Free spirits do not (cannot!) care too much about what everyone else thinks about them. You have to let go of prejudices and be tolerant, respect differences, be more detached or you'll get sucked back in; yet having said that, this apparent carefree attitude doesn't mean you don't care as a free spirit! The ones I know care too much for their own good! And as for one I am incredibly sensitive and passionate, verging on the compulsive dramatist at times, just ask those closest and dearest...

Free spirits are not necessarily creative, however their thinking is creative! On the other hand, being a creative doesn't warrant free-spiritedness. I know some creative types with regimented organised materialistic lifestyles who would never contemplate the more Bohemian aspects of a free spirit lifestyle, and who try to instill 'some sense' into my life. And that, I'm afraid, will get them a buh-bye from me! (to be continued)

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Smells Like Free Spirit is a 4-part series:  Part 1  |  Part 2  |  Part 3  |  Part 4

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