Freedom and my backpack (An excerpt from Ian Joseph’s White Book) 背包与自由1/2 (伊恩·约瑟夫的白皮书节选)

The past couple years of my life have taken me down some interesting avenues all due to my pursuit of freedom. What I’m about to unleash on you may not be conclusive for everyone, but this is based on my experience. This is what freedom means to me. Freedom is not having obligations or constraints. Freedom is not having a job that you rely on. Freedom is not having a girlfriend who is expecting your call or having a date with friends where your absence must be explained with a detailed excuse. Freedom is not having to give an extended notice to end a contract or job. Freedom is not owning so much stuff that you need a storage unit. Freedom is not having a fat wallet full of so many cards that your life turns upside down when you lose it. I’m reminded of my freedom when I’m on a bus or train to another town, city or province. All my essential belongings are in my backpack which is always tagging along for the adventure in the seat next to me. Nobody has a clue where I am, nor do they care. I’m traveling alone to a place that I’ve never seen before as a complete stranger. I have zero burdens to see anything or visit anyone. I don’t have any worries or concerns; no bills and no duties. I’m leaning back on an old chair, but I might as well be floating above the street without a rope wrapped around my neck pulling me back to where I started. I could die on a train in between cities or provinces that I’ve never touched the ground on, and it would take a couple of days for anyone who knows me to find out. My backpack could disappear, and within a day I could easily have everything replaced. This is freedom. I wouldn’t trade these train rides and endless possibilities of future adventures and not having to answer to anyone for all the money or women in the world. I lay back, shut my eyes and allow my thoughts and dreams to go wherever they want. No stress or tension is disturbing them. There’s no hurry to do anything. I am free. The whole wide world can demand something of me, and I can brush it off with a laugh. The government can freeze all of my accounts and take all of my money, but they can’t find me on this train. I may stay at my destination or I may not. Maybe I’ll create a new identity, or perhaps I’ll be myself. Maybe I’ll take a bus, or perhaps I’ll walk. I wasn’t free when I lived beyond my means; when I depended on the money that man would provide me with every two weeks. I started spending less than my earnings, and over a short period, this has begun to bless me with freedom. The only person I envision myself answering to is me. I can disappear tomorrow and never check my online accounts or answer my phone again. If I disappear, I’ll do just fine. If you can’t close your eyes and say goodbye to the world, you aren’t free.

过去的这些年来,生活给了我很多有趣的事情,这全部归根于我对自由的追求。接下来要说的这些可能不适合于所有人,但确实是我从自己的经验中总结出来的,这就是自由对我的意义。 自由是不需要义务和约束。一个你赖以生存的工作,一个时刻等着你打来电话的女朋友,一场必须找出完美借口才能缺席的聚会,一个需要等到规定时间才能终止的合同,这些都违背了自由。自由是不用像一个垃圾桶一样每天都要接受各种乱七八糟的事情,不至于丢了一个塞满卡片的钱包就丧失了生活能力。 我最能感受到自由的时候就是当我坐在一辆去往其他地方的公交车或火车上时。所有的生存必需品都装在座位旁跟着我一起冒险的背包里。没人知道我在哪、要去哪里,当然也没人在乎。我总是作为一个陌生人独自旅行到一个我从未见过的地方,我可以参观任何东西或拜访任何人,无忧无虑,没有账单,没有任务。我会舒适地躺在一把旧椅子上,也可能像一匹脱缰的野马似的飞奔在街头。我还可能突然死在去往异地的火车上,导致我的家人花好大功夫才能找到我的遗体。就算我的旅行包丢了,也只需一天时间就能重新置办一个。这就是自由。 我可以任性的踏上一列最近出发的火车,拥有无数冒险的可能性。不需要为了那些钱或女人强颜欢笑。夜里躺在床上,闭上眼睛就可以让我放飞思想任意遨游,没有什么烦心事打扰,也没有急需去完成的计划。无论世界怎么对我,我都可以一笑而过,就像那位伟大的中国诗人李白写下的一句诗,“仰天大笑出门去,我辈岂是蓬蒿人。”就算政府可以轻易冻结我的账户,没收我的财产,但他们找不到藏在火车上的我。 我也可以随时离开我的目的地,创造一个新的身份,步行或者搭公交。如果生活不是想象中的样子,那就不是自由的。必须依靠老板每两周结算的工资才能生活下去的话,那我就会尽量节省着花去攒下一笔钱,这也算是一种财务上的自由。唯一需要我完全遵从的人就是我自己,我可以明天就突然消失,再也不去检查邮件,也不接电话。不能斩断羁绊的话怎么能叫自由的人呢。

Freedom and my backpack: episode 1 Writer: Samantha S. (An excerpt from Ian Joseph’s White Book) 背包与自由2/2 作者:Samantha S.(日记)(伊恩·约瑟夫的白皮书节选)


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