Fear of Freedom


My flights are booked. My visa approved. It was the easiest-tough decision of my life. In 9 weeks, 1 day and 14 hours, I will begin a journey, turning over a new page in my life.

At 25 years of age, I will move to Canada. For 8 months, maybe longer, I will move to Canada. Alone.

I have no real plan. Nowhere to stay. No job. No friends. Just a vague itinerary and the ability to put off thinking about most problems until they face me.

Yet, still, I am shitting myself.

It’s strange how our first reaction to freedom is to be scared. People are planners. We love to be comfortable with our tomorrows – we love to see around the next corner – we love to know.

A fear of the unknown is something most people share. We hate mystery, it pulls at our stomach and wont let go. If something is unknown to us, our imaginations can take over, and nothing can be more damaging than our brain on the loose. We can think up such terrible situations that could never possibly happen in real-life, yet we convince ourselves they could.

The best horror movies play on that fear – involving monsters that we never fully see, only glimpsing the features, making up the horror with our minds. When we do eventually see the monster, usually the movie stops being scary. Once you know what that great horror really is, once it can be understood, it’s no longer a threat. When we can compare the reality to what we imagine, we realise that our imagination was far scarier.

This fear of an unknown future is what stops most people from making drastic changes in their life, even when the changes will eventually be better for them.  When the future becomes a blank void, everything becomes scary. We look forward and all we can see is series of ‘what-ifs’ with no pre-determined path. Anything could go wrong. Anything could go right. We can see no reality, only the imagined. We never know what will happen. Scary.

Most people don’t take the leap. They just stay in a comfortable bubble, they know what will happen tomorrow, some know what will happen in 10 years, some have their whole lives planned til their death. There’s no problem with that, but to me there’s something boring in that inevitability.

A book is no longer fun to me when I can tell what’s going to happen. It feels like I’m just going through the motions, reading for the sake of reading. Life with a huge plan is like living for the sake of living. You already know what will happen, so why bother at all?

I’d rather live for the unknown plot-twist. But to do that I will have to conquer that fear. I will have to jump head first into the unknown, with nothing to protect me but the briefest of hopes that everything will turn out good. Knowing that the future is a blank canvas, that I can do anything with it.

Knowing that I am truly, completely free.


Photo is titled Skydiving by Kaipullai(கைப்புள்ள)

20 thoughts on “Fear of Freedom”

    1. Thank you. Worst case scenario is I’ll spend half a year eating rice in a cheap run-down apartment. Best case scenario I become a Canadian celebrity adored by millions. Or maybe those scenarios should be the other way around.

      P.S. I didn’t take the photo, it is rather good though.

  1. very nice!… im also not a good planner. i just hate planning everything ahead in details because it sucks when it doesn’t go the way it was planned.

    I could relate to this when I resigned from work several months ago–to free myself from a job i no longer enjoy doing. i knew that when i resign, i’d face trouble–financially. But, i chose to take the risk, and i did. Eventually, i found opportunities working online…the nicest part is that i enjoy what im doing. Sometimes, we have to risk to achieve that certain freedom (whatever it may be)

  2. Thank you – this is truly one of the most memorable posts I’ve ever read on the Internet!
    Good luck with your adventure! (somehow I believe that your boldness would be rewarded).

      1. Hahah I’ll be waiting for your test in one month if you still remember saying you’d test me. I bet you’ll have forgotten your comment by then though!

        1. We’ll see about that! (Or we wont see, if I do forget.)

          P.S. I was tempted to move to Australia over Canada but I don’t think I could handle the spiders…

  3. Spiders… I didn’t even had a slightest idea about them when I decided to come to Australia, but I have a friend who is here to study spider webs!

        1. Mmm, fluffy, cute, cuddly koalas…all nice and soft…and furry…and covered in spiders. Wait. Covered in spiders?! NOOOOOOOOO! 😥 (In Australia, everything is covered in spiders. FACT.)

  4. Wahahah ok you nailed it! But I’ve got this prophecy for you: you will come to Canada and get an Aussie girlfriend there, and you shall come to Australia one day.

  5. How appropriate is your post considering you happened to “like” my page the day I’m about to take a leap and move too! Thank you for this, this is just the encouragement anyone needs and its a beautiful story! Love reading your blog!:)

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