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Autonomy - chapter 1

It is now, in my 55th year that I am enjoying the second coming of my autonomous self. My  first self, the original, the one that came into being at the event of my birth, got locked away when in 1985 (22 years of age) I moved in with my future-first-ex-husband who admonished me: get a decent job for I will not have you sponge off me. This forced me to become 'a responsible adult'. Paying bills, sacrificing time for money, climbing the corporate ladder became my fulltime occupation. Autonomy transformed into automaton. Obligated, albeit by perceived guilt or false justification, to perform in such manner as is expected. A divorce did not undo what had already been done. On the contrary: paying my way as a single woman meant holding on to whatever job at whatever salary I could get. I gained monetary independence by becoming a wage slave. Onward and upwards! Or so I thought. The system is a labyrinth pretending to be a maze:  all who choose to enter will end up trapped in the center. Attempts to assert my autonomous youth proved ineffectual. Fruitless escapes had me doing more of the same only for a different boss. Employers, collectively, are like the Borg: "We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile."
Such spoils of work as well as a new 'significant other' required protection, a certain life-style demands to be sustained. Nature in such cases prescribes the acquisition of a stronghold, enter: the mortgage. And like the boa constrictor told the guinea pig: trust me, you will feel the squeeze. Monthly mortgage payments thrive on monotony, drudgery, and mind-numbing boredom disguised as trustworthiness. Work, eat, sleep, repeat. Holiday! Work, eat, sleep, repeat. Holiday! Work, eat, sleep, repeat. Inertia is now my middle name. Personal circumstances may vary yet the bottom line remains unchanged: one has to earn a living. Thirty years pass. I've had it up to here. My dad dies. My body hits menopause. Enough is enough. November 12th 2012 the die is cast. The job, the mortgage, the daily grind, the so-called security. I've never wanted any of it and I'm handing it back. I quit!
It took four months to rid myself of the idea of having to come up with a money making scheme that would guarantee the kind of income I had become accustomed to. I permitted myself a total disregard of all things financial and freely ponder the question: 'what is it that I most enjoy doing?'. The answer my friend, is... running in the wind. Running. A pass-time, a hobby, physical exercise, for fun. That's how I want to spend my time, my energy, my life. If it's running that pleases me I'm damn well going to run with it. So I did. Across the country. For a year. For the sheer pleasure it brought me. Carrying nothing but a rucksack with a change of clothes and let me tell you: it did me a world of good.