From the time I can remember I've been called and occasionally accused of being:
"A Free Spirit."
Regardless of connotation, I've mostly accepted it as an affirmation to doing something right.
I figured, if Freedom is defined as:
The power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants,
Then fuck yeah, I want my spirit to embody that.
Then I grew up.
And along the way, I explored and learned a bit about the world (in ways that weren't taught or encouraged in a classroom.)
This led me to reexamine how as an American, I'm conditioned to pride myself on being this champion of "Freedom."
Which often times made me feel conflicted.
Because I saw how "Freedom" was/is shamelessly contorted and wielded as a marketing tool. Repurposed to sell pick-up trucks, male enhancement pills and war...
(to name a few)
I also saw how some of it's most vocal proponents misuse the word to perpetuate hate and violence against those who don't share the same beliefs on how to, indeed, live freely...
That being said, I sure do love me an American flag.
Not only is it gloriously, aesthetically jarring, matching perfectly with nearly every conceivable ensemble.
I recognize that in spite of the the politics it represents,
politics that often oppress & condemn me for acting, speaking, or thinking as I want .
It still remains this powerful symbol of an ideology we ALL fight to have equal access to.
That, and my 16 year old self will forever adhere to the wisdom of a ballsy Texan broad who famously howled: "Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose,
Nothin', don't mean nothin' hon' if it ain't free.."