Since last Thursday, I have been on three impromptu nights out. By impromptu, I mean arranged that afternoon; by nights out, I mean an evening that could end up involving dancing rather than your average night at a pub or similar (two of three did end up with dancing; one didn’t due to last train times, but it could have easily ended up that way). This is something of a bumper week – although my social life is pretty active, these sorts of nights out are few & far between nowadays.
All three nights have been really good fun; probably because of their relative rarity, they don’t feel mundane in the way that regular events can feel. I’ve enjoyed seeing old friends & having a dance. The feelings that have most struck me about all three nights, though, are spontaneity & freedom. The two, I suppose, go hand-in-hand. One of useful outcome of all my navel gazing is that I’ve become quite adept at being able to specifically name feelings, & over the past few years I’ve come to recognise freedom as absolutely central to what makes me feel happy. Whenever I get a ‘buzz’ from doing something, an underlying emotion is often – so often – a sense that I am completely free. This freedom should not be interpreted as simply selfishness; two of my greatest joys are the freedom to be able to do different voluntary activities & the freedom to see a lot of my niece & nephew. This week, however, the buzz of freedom has been about just being able to say yes to random nights out & to be able to go with the flow. I can make choices based purely on my own desires, without feeling beholden to considering someone else in the equation: this freedom gives me a thrill every time I experience it.
Of course, though, things are rarely as so straightforward or clear cut. During these nights out, I have spent time with some of my favourite couples. Seeing people happy & in love throws up all the flip-sides to my love of freedom. As I watch them together, I often find myself engaged in an internal dialogue: will I ever achieve that happy medium between love & freedom? I don’t know is the only answer. Maybe I will; maybe I won’t. But I do know that until I find someone worth compromising for, I will not sacrifice an ounce of my freedom.