WordPress weekly photo challenge: Free Spirit

free spirit

a person with a highly individual or unique attitude, lifestyle, or imagination; nonconformist.

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.

Wordpress weekly photo challenge: Free Spirit - running at Lake Hemet, California

 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.

Wordpress weekly photo challenge: Free Spirit

WordPress weekly photo challenge: Free Spirit

24 responses to “WordPress weekly photo challenge: Free Spirit

  1. I’m not much of a conformist, but I also don’t think I’m much of a free spirit, at least not anymore with the demands of family and such. Everything is fairly rigid. But I do take risks at times, so I guess that counts for something. :)

    • Well, you dared writing and publishing your own book, so you have some free spirit within you!

      I wouldn’t change it a bit but having a free spirit can be a curse who people who don’t understand it. I have met many people both at work and in personal relationships who said they admire it. But in reality, they can’t stand it because it’s not something they can understand and control. So I need to start surrounding myself with more open-minded, free spirits. It’s been too long…

      • That’s true–people tend to fear what they don’t understand.

        I wasn’t a completely free spirit with my book though–I didn’t self-publish it. A publisher is doing it for me. I don’t know enough about the business to be that free-spirited. :)

      • But you did write a book, even though I’m sure a lot of people told you it couldn’t be done along the way. And many, many people say they want to write a book but never do (I personally swear, I WILL write books someday, I just need a minute!). You did it, congrats!

  2. Yes, yes, no wonder I like you so much!

  3. Nice words and post…love that Sting song too.

  4. I like both pictures.
    Especially, the first one gave me an idea for this weekly challenge.
    Thank you for your sharing.

  5. Catherine Johnson

    I love that picture of you, it really captures a free spirit. I’m going to feel like a free spirit next week when my youngest starts school :)

  6. To have a free spirit to is to do something you feel is right. :)

  7. I love how very French you look in your picture. We Americans sometimes tend to think we need to be all primped and put together. French women are so good at the natural, free spirited look.

    • You’re right and I think it’s a European thing in general. Most European women (and girls) seem more self-confident when it comes to their bodies and look, and they’re not afraid of men seeing them for who they really are. Many American girls and women seem to portray themselves as they think men want them to be. Just my personal observation, so I could be completely wrong!

      • I’m a middle school teacher. I see that, too, in young gals. It’s hard for them to be themselves or to go against the grain and flow of the crowds. From recent exchange trips to France, similar trends may be starting to happen in Europe, but I hope not.

      • Oh, I hope young Europeans don’t follow this trend. I have never, ever seen the type of peer pressure that takes place in American schools the whole time I spent in French schools. I think the school system as it is only reinforces that, with their one size fits all approach to education and values, to prepare kids for the workforce. It’s tough to go against the flow!

  8. That second picture is perfect for the theme.

  9. Love the photo of you–classic!

  10. I LOVE that photo of you!!! You do look like a FREE Spirit. :D

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