Like all little girls growing up, one of my favorite activities was to play pretend. When we played house, I usually played the mom since I was always the bossiest and most vocal about what I wanted. When we played office, I would be in high-level management or CEO of a major corporation. My name was usually, “Rene” and I made millions and millions of dollars, dressed in power suits and had a homemade placard placed on the edge of my desk with my exotic name, usually with an accent over the “e.” I had the freedom to choose whatever I wanted to be and how I wanted my life to look.
When I graduated high school, I was 17 years old, and I got a job working and living at a Christian summer camp. Although my parents pretty much trusted me to do what I wanted (I was a straight A, Asian girl in a tiny retirement community and solid values. The most I did was homework and church), I still had my first small taste of freedom. No one was there to tell me to go to bed at a certain time, I went to work, hung out with my friends and stayed in a dorm with three other girls. But I was still under the rules of my bosses.
I went to a Baptist college as a commuter student, and so most of my life was dedicated to studying and youth group. I had to sign a contract prohibiting from doing stuff like drinking and dancing (I didn’t do either of those things anyway). Then I got married, and I was a wife and mother with all the responsibilities that came with such.
I’ve been single for about 15 months now, and one of the biggest adjustments is figuring how to manage this newfound freedom. From Sunday nights to Thursday mornings, I play the role of single mom. Then from Thursday to Sunday, for the first time ever in my life, I am completely free of rules and responsibilities for a few days every week. (My jobs are all flexible).
I am getting the ultimate taste of freedom, and although there are a few downsides, (like not being about to see the Kidlet all the time), there are many, many, many upsides to my new life. Sometimes I stop and can’t believe that this is my life. Saturday, I dyed my hair fire engine red. I could sleep in till noon if I wanted (and I have numerous times). I take off for impromptu Vegas trips with friends. I live a little over a mile from the beach ad walk there just because. I eat what I want, when I want, and don’t feel any guilt if I stay in bed all day and catch up on episodes of Dexter. I could go out and have a drink if I wanted or stay in and read for hours.
Freedom. This is the ultimate playing house.