Yesterday exactly 12 weeks ago I started walking. When I think back on those days I realise what a mess I was. I needed to walk to let go of all that happened and did it in a way that was a bit exaggerated. The website, paper, television, all not really necessary. After 86 days of being on the road alone, I am changed. It is not so special anymore. The big story I thought I would make is now on the background and I am just living a life like all of you. On a certain level, that is…
I mean, am I still inspiring? Do you still think of me like you did before? Do you imagine what it is like to pack everything you have in your backpack and walk, every day? Do you still see the freedom in this way of living, do you still admire it? For me, this all is different as when I left. ‘Freedom’ is a word that is often used to describe my state currently. As if I were a free man just because I could carry all my possessions on my back and decide which way to go at every turn. As if I was free because all I had just left me. As if I was free because I wasn’t physically bound to anything or anyone.
I see this differently now. I have to rely on other people’s generosity for a shower, a bed and sometimes even for food, when the stores are closed. What freedom is in that? Every day at 4pm I need to start thinking about where to sleep, and this gets earlier every day with winter upon me. Every time I do groceries I need to take in account that all I buy has to be carried. What freedom is in that? When it rains, I just cannot take a proper rest, when my feet are tired and I’m walking along a highway, what will I do? Where’s my freedom? When I want to be with people I love, but can’t, what kind of freedom is that? My mind has the ability to always want something different than what I have. If I’m alone, it wants company. When I’ve company, it wants other company, and once I have this, it’ll want to be alone again. If I walk it wants to go home, but if I take a day off, it wants to walk.
So many people hold expectations towards me. About my walking, the way I spend my money, what I do with my hair, what I write about and when I post it, if I reply their emails or messages. If I send them photos or a card when I arrive at one place or another. They expect me to live a life they never had. And probably, never really want to have, because they know all the above. These expectations cling to me and drag me down. I feel a certain responsibility regarding these expectations. And with that, there goes my freedom.
What I want to tell you is this; it makes no difference where one is or what one does. The mind always finds his way to trouble you. Real freedom can only exist in the heart. When you have this kind of freedom, it makes no matter how you live, where you live or with whom you live. So please read my stories and posts, keep sending me messages and wishes. But do not, in any way, feel that I have more freedom than you have. That I live a more inspiring life or that I am doing something special, for I breath the same air as you do, and struggle with the same stuff as you.
This does not mean I do not feel blessed with my life right now. I woke up with a magnificent view over the Balaton lake and will walk it a couple of more days. But this is only a minor form of freedom as I see it. Real freedom is inside. I wish I could tell you how to find this freedom of heart, but for that I guess, you’ll have to walk yourself.
Thank you Thomas for your thoughts again. The freedom of heart isn’t bound to walking either. Thank God for that. Otherwise you have to be walking the rest of your live. When you have found it, it will stay with you, even in the hardest moments of life. Keep up the good spirit and enjoy walking, but this freedom will stay, even if you are home again. Greetz, Hanneke
You already know the answer: ‘Real freedom can only exist in the heart. When you have this kind of freedom, it makes no matter how you live, where you live or with whom you live.’
Enjoy your days, the moment and be good to others. It’s hard but it’s all there is (I think).
Reading this post just opens up my heart magnificently and is indeed inspiring to me (although that question you asked probably wasn’t to be answered.. :P) What could be more inspiring en joyous to read than a piece on how you are finding more truth on your way?