The dictionary meaning of freedom can be defined as the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants to. Another definition can be interpreted as.the state of not being imprisoned or enslaved. Being reared into a lower- level social status decreases an individual’s ability to be able to grasp the true meaning of freedom. This impoverished social status, coupled with being an African American female lessen your chance of completely understanding and feeling free. After re-entering college as a forty-nine year old, I thought that it would enable me to feel a sense of freedom, but it did not. Looming in the background was a profuse and consistent feeling that something was missing. I took on many local charitable activities while completing my studies, and still this shackled feeling persisted. Then one day, I read an article displayed on my schools website, pertaining to the topic of studying abroad. I completed all the requirements in order to study abroad in Seville Spain for a whole semester.
Fast forward three and a half months later, and with only ten days left to complete my program and return to the states, I can honestly state that I feel free. In the past, I thought that in order to feel free my bank account needed to be plentiful and I had to possess a vast amount of material objects. However, after studying abroad, I have learned that real freedom enables you to view the world through a whole new lens, and to be able to move not only upward, but onward; to grow in spirit, empathy, leniency, absolution, respect, and unity. Studying abroad has released me from a box that I was placed in as a child, and nurtured by peers, the media, and my community. No one tells you that in order to feel a true sense of freedom, one must first tackle issues or subjects that an individual is unfamiliar with. No one tells you that in order to feel a true sense of freedom, one must first be exposed to an unfamiliar level of living, eating, sleeping, learning, and loving.
I am very proud to be able to take home with me this new sense of freedom. I am very determined to cherish it for an eternity. I am also elated and a bit anxious to teach and explore this new sense of freedom with those that occupy my intimate, social, and kinship space.
We might be in a country that holds our race or gender as inferior.