Freedom of choice, freedom of speech, freedom of living the life the way you want to - what do these words really mean?  Have you ever felt like your life is going well, you have everything that you want and are surrounded by people that you love and yet feel like you are stuck in cage and you can't move? For some of us, this might mean that we are at a job that we no longer take pleasure in, but cannot leave for various reasons, like family to feed, pay the bills, etc. For others, is being stuck in a relationship, where love is merely a ghost word of the past, and you are not able to leave the relationship simply out of comfort or sadly, lack of hope for the better. There are also the ones that feel caged within their family, tied by the family business - you cannot quit, or tangled in the web of dreams that your parents have created and you cannot leave in fear of disappointment. Any of these sound familiar?

Sadly, there are more of us out there feeling like caged birds, like every time we are about to fly our wings are clipped by new unexpected circumstances. Trying to speak out slowly and break through the white noise, trying to be heard - is often not worth it. Why? Simply because most of the times, the cry for help is not heard, and the people who should be paying attention to what you are saying shut you down, because of their own principles. Often, it is simply one person trying to make the other person a copy of what they are, taking away a piece of authenticity and his/her personality. What fun would it be if we all shared the same principles, values and were mini copies of each other?

Being trapped in a situation, where one cannot be his true self is painful and hurtful, undermining every piece of our personality and turning it into something else. Some of us chose to stay trapped in fear of breaking through and in fear of change. Surely, change is not easy and opening to new opportunities is a challenge - but I think it is one worth taking. 

Planning is what makes our life seem closed off to the rest of the world. When we plan out our days or our lives, we try to stick to a certain schedule, a certain normality - because the unknown scares us. Always wanted to just wake up and do something what I really feel like doing for instance: waking up on a weekday around noon, going to the airport, blindly purchasing a ticket to the first destination that comes to mind and buying a one way ticket. What stops me you may ask? Obligation to my family, responsibility to my employer and the inner fear of stepping into unknown. All my life, I have lived by someone else's principles and values and when I spoke my mind, and until now, I am considered a kid, a child, who knows nothing of the world yet. 

In a way, I am being protected from a mistake I might make, or a wrong step I might take from the perfectly laid out for me path. But what if I want to make mistakes, I want to be able to fall and stand up, to make my own life count the way I feel it - and not because it is the right thing to do. Sometimes, the right thing to do might not be what your heart wants to follow or your mind intuitively tells you to do.

Maya Angelou wrote an entire poem dedicated to a caged bird, speaking from her heart about the situation in the World, where she was caged due to her race, and the only way she could communicate was by singing, in her case writing. Today, some of us may recognise ourselves in this poem but for different reasons. For reasons, that are affecting our life in all sorts of ways and we don't know how to find that key to the cage to finally fly.

And when one breaks through and flies - it is important to appreciate every minute of freedom, every chance that comes your way. When making decisions for what is next have no fear and choose with your heart. After all, there is nothing worse than feeling like a caged bird in a free world.

Published by Karina Saakyan