Freedom ain’t cheap

3 min readApr 5, 2020

You gotta work to earn your keep

A few days ago, I had a valuable epiphany.

I was sitting at the top of my bed, looking out the adjust window as the traffic moved up and down University Ave. I noticed the sun start to set and couldn’t help but stop whatever it was that I was doing and open my window. The air was fresh and almost vacuumed the smell of the room and only left fresh air.

It was a great way to start an evening. My room was illuminated by the beauty of the setting sun. When I could, I peeked my face closer to the window to bath my face even more.

It was a beautiful moment.

It felt right.

Prior to that moment, I was on multiple video chats for work and the amount of screen time drained my energy. I felt depleted and ran towards my window to see the sun, again.

As I was watching pedestrians crossing the street, I felt a sense of gratitude.

I’m not sure if people-watching is something that brings peace, but today, it felt like the perfect gateway from my troubles. A perfect prescription for all the moments I had paused too long without a deep breath — it brought a stillness that I hadn’t felt in a while.

The peace helped me move on from myself onto the characters that I saw walking in front of me. As I looked down, I started to put together stories that I felt belonged to each character I saw. Each step, glance, posture gave me more than enough to let my imagination run wild.

With each story, I started to develop more empathy for each character. Considering how tough these times have been for many, it slowly became apparent that people were trying their very best to look up and carry on with their lives.

It was an uplifting picture that came alive the more I took myself out of it.

And for those I saw working under these conditions, I felt a sense of betrayal. I felt guilty for having the privilege to work from home. I was grateful that I could work in a safe environment — anywhere of my choosing, as long as there was wifi while they drove their cars to drop off people or cleaned after each customer in every aisle of Trader Joe’s.


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