Happy Passover, part II

Here’s a more serious Passover question for you. Passover celebrates the journey from slavery to freedom, and marks the cost of that journey, as well. (This is why we deny ourselves certain foods during the holiday, and eat matzoh — “the bread of affliction” — instead.)

I posted this on Facebook a day or two ago, and liked the responses I got, so I thought I’d take it public: What have you been freed from in this past year, and what has the price of that freedom been?

I have been freed from my self-imposed pressure to become rich and famous. That joke I used to make about “All I want is my own talk show and my face on a bus”? It wasn’t a joke. I’d still be happy to have those things, but I’ve come to realize that what is valuable about the work I do — doesn’t necessarily depend on how many people I can reach, or on the way American society keeps track of success. I write things I’m proud of, I start conversations that I think help people learn from each other, I get and give some good laughs. That really is enough. The price of that freedom was a little bit of post-publication madness, and giving up certain illusions about myself.

I have been freed from a friendship that had gone very sour, and that was leading me to censor myself in both my private and public life. The price of that freedom has been realizing that not everyone is going to think I’m one of the Good Guys. For some folks, I’m part of the problem, not part of the solution.

What about you? What have you been freed from, and what price have you paid?

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