4) opening your own cage

My December to Remember II: Day Four

News: Iran says it will abolish morality police, mulls mandatory hijab law
Man hit unprovoked with baseball bat in random NYC attack

When I was in fifth grade, I had a pet turtle. My dad brought him home one day from New York, as one couldn’t purchase them as pets in New Jersey. He was a little red-eared slider, and I named him Boop after the only white spot on the top of his shell. I liked him a lot. I felt like I took good care of him. But his living space was far too small. I didn’t do my research on how to properly care for him, I just wanted a turtle. He stayed with us for about three months. On my birthday, my entire family came over to celebrate. We put Boop in his container outside on the deck, so he wouldn’t get too agitated by all the guests. After the party, I went to go get him and found his container empty. He wasn’t anywhere on the deck, he was gone. I couldn’t believe what happened. Turtles are slow, aren’t they? Was it entirely possible my turtle just ran away?

Flash forward a few years and my dad saw a large turtle in the pond behind their house. It had little red ears and a dot on his shell. Boop ran away, but he didn’t go far, it seems. He lived in that pond for who knows how long, but he found a new home, certainly a better one than I was providing him.

Boop made his choice and set himself free. I was happy for him. It’s the rest of the world I’m not so sure about anymore.

Has anyone ever told you that you have the keys?

I don’t feel free these days. Recently I had to take an action I knew I’d need to do which did set my heart free, but that’s not what I’m speaking of here. I feel very confined by everything that’s certainly out of my control. My trust in every American institution has entirely eroded over the past nearly three years; Government, health care, law enforcement, I don’t even want to cast a vote anymore, especially in New York City where they don’t verify you with a state-issued ID. There’s a lack of confidence in anyone or anything to help drive us out of this misery, and I’m starting to think people want to live in this new version of the status quo.

In my heart and soul, I’m in my lakeside cabin, a small garden nearby and a couple of chickens in my coop. No one bothers me or pays me any mind. I’m alone with my thoughts, my feelings, and most importantly, my words. And the cat. The only obligation I have is to myself, as I’d be the only one sustaining my life. I feel so far outside the confines of where I am right now, and I pray I have the courage to keep chasing it for myself. I’m not saying it’s impossible, it’s just that much more difficult when I see the chaos surrounding us at any given moment.

Sound advice.

America is supposed to be the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave. It’s not that anymore. It’s the Land of the Terrified and Home of the Compliant. We’re ‘supposed’ to be a certain way these days it seems. We all have to be equal and not question anything. Maybe it’s different in other parts of the country, but in liberal shithole NYC, it’s an absolute nightmare. It’s forced, government-issued compassion over here, and pretty much anywhere your identity matters more than your merit. We’re overmedicated, under-curious, and saturated by distractions and nonsense. The government isn’t even required to tell us if our food has been genetically modified. And it makes me sad, considering how good we’re supposed to have it here.

Some other countries don’t have a First Amendment. They can forcibly remove you from your home and throw you in a Covid quarantine camp. Or force you to wear an article of clothing. I know we have privilege here, but as long as we willingly shackle ourselves into believing someone has authority over us, we will never truly be free. It just blows my mind that the same people pre-2020 were telling us how bad government was, but now that their dude is at the helm, everything is awesome and perfect and without flaw.

No matter which wing is leading, given the chance, they’ll kill you.

I pray for this world all the time. I pray people find a way to let loose and be human again. It’s like a series of robots or zombies are in charge, just programmed to say the next talking point according to the three-letter agencies’ evil agenda. And as someone who just finished reading Animal Farm in its entirety today, I have to understand that some people want the illusion of freedom rather than actual freedom. Or that they’re being gaslit into thinking everything is fine when it’s patently not. I have to let that go. I can’t save everyone, especially those who don’t want to be saved.

All I ask is that my freedom to choose is respected, for my free will does not come from government. It comes from God. I was born in His image, just like I believe all His children were. It’s our God-given right to live the way we wish, in chains or out. I know which one I’m choosing. I just hope whoever I choose to come with me doesn’t want to cut and run the moment he has the chance.

Long live Boop, the freest turtle to ever live. (Stock photo)

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