Thursday, December 29, 2011

Burntcore Week 84: Freedom to Live


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Picture 2

Burntcore's Choice: Both

Freedom to Live

All of my life, I have felt like I lived in a glass bowl where everyone watched my every move. It was maddening. I had no privacy, no sense of self. Anything and everything I did was commented on, critiqued, and criticized. I had all the freedom in the world but never felt so trapped.

It wasn’t even my own doing. I have rich parents who made themselves into quasi-celebrities due to their money and being seen at various Hollywood parties. Rubbing your nose with real celebrities and actors apparently makes you famous. It’s stupid, if you ask me, but they never would.

My parents got to feel important by seeing their names and pictures in glossy magazines. I got to feel like I lived in a fishbowl. I hated having the cameras snapping pictures of my every move, seeing my clothing choices for the day critiqued or praised for being “in” or not. What I chose to wear was what I chose; I never really put much thought into it besides making sure they were clean.

My parents hoped I would be more interested in the limelight so they could keep their fifteen minutes of fame going. They tried to get me on some reality show and some bit part in a CW show. Despite my protests, they insisted. I went to the audition but I never went in to read. I sat out in the lobby and watched all the wannabees until I got bored and went to the library.

It never ceased to be a point of contention with my mother who titters and tsks when I don’t show the proper appreciation for all the opportunities she and my father arranged for me. Apparently, telling them time and time again that I had no interest in acting or being on camera didn’t sink in.

It won’t matter for much longer anyway. I just turned eighteen and just finished high school. My parents didn’t have any more control over me and my plans to move out are almost finished. I didn’t have a job yet, but my trust fund became accessible as soon as I turned eighteen so I had means to be able to pay my bills. While I hated that money made my parents into camera hogging freaks, the same money gave me my freedom.

Earlier today when my parents were at some society function, I went to the bank and converted my entire trust fund account into a regular bank account, one that only I had control over. If I left it in a trust, there was a chance my parents could freeze my assets, which they probably would do as soon as they realized I left.

Next, I bought my own car. The car I had been using was in my father’s name and so that was going to be left at the house. The car I bought is far from new, but something I picked out and something much more practical. Oh, and insurance too. While some may think I’m some irresponsible trust fund baby with a silver spoon just because of how my parents act, I do have the ability to think for myself and make mature decisions.

With so many steps in place, the urge to finally break free is almost overwhelming. I have to do this the right way, though; otherwise my parents will track me down and try to bring me back. If they don’t know where I went, they can’t drag me back. Somehow, I would let them know I was okay so they wouldn’t worry, but I couldn’t let them find me.

I just needed to wait until they thought I was leaving for college, to the college that they picked out taking classes that they thought would help me land acting gigs, rooming with the daughter of one of their friends, a girl that I couldn’t stand. Sounds great, doesn’t it?

I wanted to go to college, but to the one I chose. It wasn’t good enough, according to my parents. Despite the fact it was the only college in the state that had the program I wanted. It was immaterial because it wasn’t what they wanted.

What they didn’t know is that I applied to the college I wanted, and was accepted. I had my class schedule all set up, a student loan to my name (which will be paid for with my trust fund), and a roomie that I didn’t know from Adam but seemed pretty cool based on our few email conversations.

This was an opportunity for me to start over. No one would expect to find me where I am going. With a new haircut and color, and shortening my name, I hoped I could find some real freedom in anonymity. It’s sad when your biggest dream was to just fade into the crowd.

I was even looking forward to dorm life, despite the fact that my new living space was going to be smaller than what my closet was at home. This kind of life was more normal. God, how I longed for normal. I couldn’t wait.

I had my bags and boxes packed, ready for the move, in two piles. One pile, the smaller one, was what I was actually taking with me, and the other was the rest what my parents thought I was taking with me. I knew I could get away with this since my parents knew I would be leaving for college. My dorm room would only fit so much and I was happy to be free of the trappings of my parents influence by taking just the bare necessities. If was going to the college they picked out for me, I was going to be staying in a sprawling townhouse with plenty of room for all the crap that they thought I should be taking.

Again, their thoughts and opinions, not mine.

I couldn’t wait to put my own decorations in my own dorm room. I wanted color and verve, something besides the beige existence my parents seemed to see fit to thrust me into. I couldn’t wait to live my life without their opinions and thoughts holding me back, or being dragged into something I wanted no part of. Finally, I would be free of the cameras that followed my parents around. Finally, I would be free to live.