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Is freedom an illusion?

If you are living in a “first world country”, you’re probably raised with the illusion that you have have freedom.

Freedom of speech.
Freedom to vote.
Freedom to choose our own religion.
Freedom to dress however you want.
Freedom to love whichever gender you like.
And if we don’t like our own gender, you can even change that.

Although, in general, I am grateful for all that, on a day to day basis I don’t feel all that free.

I realized this when I decided to resign from my job, start my own company and let the same company hire me as their consultant.
‘Now you have all the freedom in the world, Andrea. You are your own boss, how cool is that?!’, my manager stated.
Yes, awesome. I wished, however, he could put all this freedom down in the contract.
Honestly, all I see is restrictions.

So, since I will be continuing as a Technical Instructor for the same company, I also have to adhere to the dresscode.
This consists of black trousers and a shirt with the ugly company logo ALL OVER IT.
The one time I decided to wear a regular dark grey shirt of my own, I got a warning that I was not behaving according to the contract.

Certain colleagues have used their “freedom of speech” by spreading lies about me and bullying me.
However, the times that I wanted to express my suggestions to grow the business, save money and work more efficiently, nobody even wanted to listen.

And last, not certainly not least, is the 7.5 hour work day.
The business has generously decided to pay for the 30 minute breakfast break, but the lunch break is at our own cost.
I never asked for either of them.
Can I skip them?
Sure, but still I need to stay until 4 o’clock, like everybody else.

What is a “workday” anyhow?
Most of my colleagues smoke.
Trust you me, they don’t deduct that from the 7.5 “working” hours.


At school I learned about how people got the political freedom.
Especially the struggle for women.
And I thought it was an awesome thing that was achieved.

But then I grew up.
I am currently 29 years old and never even used my freedom to vote as soon I realized that politicians are populists and liars
So I guess we also have the freedom to fool people and not keep our promises.


I am not sure if I can say that freedom is an illusion, but the stories I was told about it as a child, were covered with fairy dust.
The actual meaning, now that I have a mind on my own, is far from all that.

Do you feel free?
Where do you feel that freedom?
And where do you feel that freedom is just an illusion?

Categories: Blogs

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Me & my Skeptical Heart

2 replies

  1. Here I have to work 8h and I have to take at least 0.5h long break. For free. Umm… it does not make ANY sense. And yes, I thought of picking up smoking just to take more paid breaks, too.

    I wrote quite a few posts on this topic in the past 2 years. Yes, we have some freedoms (compared to some countries), but those freedoms are often violated or restricted. i don’t feel free to dress however I like. I don’t feel free to say whatever I want. I don’t feel free to do whatever I want. And I don’t even mean walking around naked and killing people.

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  2. Freedom is a concept or theory more than anything else and will differ from person to person. I guess my freedom is based on the situation. Right now, I’m wasting time before I go back to the final edits of my new book coming out. I’m wearing pajamas and eating a smoothie I just made. After that, I’ll do some contracted writing to pay the immediate bills and then take a nap before picking up my son at school. I’ll take him to the doctors for a check-up after that. Thankfully, I don’t have to work around a schedule of doing this since I make my own schedule. Do I feel free? In how I make a living, mostly, yes. My wife is a medical assistant who often doesn’t like her job. I don’t know how she does it. But she needs to feel like she’s helping people with her career. She needs to work around people. I think she likes not having to do all the drop-offs, pick-ups and appointments that I do. I see her situation as utterly not free, but I think she sees mine as miserable. It’s all in the eye of the beholder. If you’re unhappy, you’ve got to figure out a different way. You should be pursuing your art, anyway.

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