The Utter Elusiveness of Feeling Completely Free

The joy of being untethered from reality

Judith Victoria
8 min readNov 30, 2022
Photo by Vicko Mozara on Unsplash

As long as I put other peoples' needs first, I don't have to worry about mine.

And now that I'm wandering the streets of a ridiculously photogenic Portuguese village, 2500 km away from home, completely free of other people's needs, I have no idea what to do with mine.

Or, to quote Joker in The Dark Knight:

"I'm like a dog chasing cars; I wouldn't know what to do if I caught one, you know, I just do…things."

I wanted to be free. I wanted time for myself. An empty calendar and no expectations. And now that I have it, I have no idea what to do with it — besides guarding my freedom like a mama grizzly bear protects her cubs.

My phone is on silent, and I have turned off all my app notifications. Every time I get a text from someone asking if I am enjoying my holiday, I feel like I'm getting pulled back to reality. So I mute, block and ignore.

It feels a bit like betrayal because my family and friends are amazing, and I love them dearly — but I don't want to hear from them. They're all home, where reality lives. And I am in paradise, where freedom lives. Maybe it's due to my shortcomings, but I can't combine those two worlds.



Judith Victoria

Essays on life, love, and other lousy stuff. Otherworldly flash fiction & romantic short stories. Failing forward. Perpetually amazed.