I love this week’s WordPress photo challenge, because it’s… me! And hopefully my kids too as they grow up. Our society tries so hard and so early on to have us conform and fit into the standard box. This hinders our personal creativity, imagination, and dreams. So many people just go with the flow, for fear of not fitting in. Fortunately a few of us fight back conformism. As my kids grow up, I want to remind them what Sting sang about in An Englishman in New York, “Be yourself, no matter what they say.”
Here are a couple of photos that illustrate the theme “free spirit” for me. The first one is of my eldest boy, running like the wind on the beach of Lake Hemet in Southern California. We ended up all running together, because it just felt so right.
The second photo is of me taken at the age of 23 in Paris, just before I left for Middletown, Connecticut, to teach French at Wesleyan University for a year. I love the blurriness, the wind blowing my hair all over the place, the pure happiness on my face. I was the first one of my family to move to a country 3000 miles away on my own. People here are often surprised when I tell them my story, especially the part about moving to another country all by myself. A free spirit allows you to do anything you set your mind to. And I wouldn’t change a thing.