I’m often labeled as a “free spirit.”
At first, I wasn’t sure what this label was supposed to mean. It seemed like such a trivial way to categorize such complex beings.
I’ve always just been who I am. But some introspecting, I realized I may have inherited this title from the woman who raised me: My mother.
My mother was the epitome of a free spirit. She was child of the 60s and 70s; she made her own clothes, dated men on her own terms, always spoke her mind and had a mess of thick, Italian-American hair, which she never wanted to tame.
I remember going through puberty and my mother telling me I didn’t have to shave my legs or wear a bra if I didn’t want to.
She taught me that makeup, clothing and all other objects of vanity should be tools to make me happy, not anyone else.
I took her advice to heart over the years, so it’s no surprise that I ended up being a free spirit myself.
However, it’s not without struggle.
Free spirits live in a world that is constantly trying to define us and curb our very essence:
1. We can't function when we feel restricted
Whether it's our bra constricting us, or society telling us we cannot think, feel or act a certain way, when we are restricted from being who we are, we shut down.
Free-spirited women hardly seek routine. We love waking up every morning, knowing this day will be vastly different from the last.
We feel spiritually claustrophobic when we're faced with days of constant similarity.
A free spirit functions best when she is left to her own devices.
She works on her own timeline and plays by her own rules.
When she is asked to deliver, however, she delivers 100 percent (and then some).
A free-spirited woman, although unconventional, does everything with determination, heart and endless passion.
2. We constantly float between ideologies
Free spirits have an incredible thirst for knowledge. We're constantly attempting to make sense of the world in which we dwell.
One day, we may be practicing Buddhism and the next day, we may be interested in Astrology.
We take in all religion and spirituality, and we construct these beliefs into a single ideology that fits within our lives.
We are always seeking ways to expand our minds, make ourselves better people and become one with the world.
A free-spirited woman will never shun another person for thinking differently, and she loathes discrimination and hatred.
She always seeks the path of love and acceptance.
3. Our lovers find if difficult to keep up
A free-spirited woman doesn't need anyone to fulfill her. Instead, when she is ready, she will seek out someone who is strong enough to keep up with her. We see our lovers as our equals and our partners.
Free spirits need passion, understanding and patience from our lovers. Because our brains are moving at a million miles per minute, we only invite in those who can enrich us.
We, in turn, will also do everything in our power to love and enrich our partners.
4. We are perpetual daydreamers
We find it difficult to focus because our heads are always in the clouds. It's easy for us to zone out and get trapped inside our brains.
We are the people who constantly practice being in the moment because we struggle with it the most.
Our friends snap fingers in front of our faces when we drift off mid-sentence. People often tell us they don't "get" us.
Our way of thinking is not a straight line, but rather a winding maze that we are trying to navigate.
However, we don't lack self-awareness. To the contrary, we're usually too busy being self-aware of our brains, body, emotions and actions to concentrate on our immediate surroundings.
5. We are hyper-emotional
Sometimes the real world is far too harsh for free spirits. We are told we're over-emotional.
We absorb others' pain, pleasure, anxiety, contentedness, fear and courage. Our empathy causes us to go through powerful highs and lows.
We are the first people our friends go to when the going gets tough.
We are so in touch with our feelings that we never fail to empathize with others. It's not in our nature to be judgmental, so we're easy to talk to.
When we experience bouts of sadness, we reach out to others for support. Just simply being around another happy person can lighten our mood because of how susceptible we are to others' feelings.
We keep away from those who suck energy out of us, or worse, project their negativity and anxiety onto us.
6. We want to experience everything
Free spirits are the kind of people who want to experience everything at least once. We collect experiences like badges of honor. When faced with the option to spend our money on a pair of new shoes or a vacation, we will always choose the experience.
We are the women you find dancing at festivals without shirts, jumping off cliffs into clear blue water, quitting our jobs to travel the world or even just playing hooky for the day just to spend more time in the sunshine.
Our greatest treasure is life itself.
7. Our idea of beauty is unconventional
A free spirit will find beauty in the ugliest of situations. She can see through the rain clouds to the rainbow before anyone else in her life.
We wear makeup, dye our hair and do or do not shave our armpits because we want to. Our beauty is found within, and it radiates from our very cores into the world around us.
We do not let traditional ideas of beauty define us. In fact, we often go against the general, social acceptance of beauty in order to prove a point.
Free-spirited women love their own bodies, but do not let physicality rule us.
When the world tells us to be ashamed of our bodies, we turn to our spiritual selves and remind ourselves that our souls reflect our core beings.
Being a free spirit is not always easy. We may not always be understood and we may not always be accepted.
We are the women who are not attempting to be anything. We simply are.