How to Find Your Way to Freedom

Have you ever found yourself looking to make a change, or done something you’d never done before but had so many people trying to hold you back?

Well, that’s what happened to me, and it turned out once I made up my mind to follow my dreams, it was the best decision I ever made.

My story might sound strange, because it is about a basement. Not really a basement, but what it represents.

It’s a special area in a house: cold, wet and underground. Many people would use it as a storage area, or fix it up as a bar.

Let’s be honest. If you heard someone was living in a basement, you probably would think he might be living a hard life. That is understandable to think like that, but there also can occur lots of possibilities in a basement. Let me explain:

When I moved from an apartment to a house, I told my mom that I want to live in a basement. She refused to listen to that and immediately listed the health concerns. My mom has always believed the old Chinese mentality that poor artists living in a 10 sq meters basement have no money.

For me, as a new songwriter born in a middle class family, I felt curious to experience that life, rather than be scared of what people would say. In my mind, the basement must be an amazing place to live with artists that have the same interest. The way I see it, living in a basement is a place where creativity is born.

Interestingly enough, an opportunity came up this summer with a music related internship in New York City. Two of my friends were also hired for the same position. We decided to rent a house together for 3 months. Most of the owners rejected us until we met a man in Brooklyn who said yes, but wanted us to know that the rooms are in the basement. How serendipitous that all the circumstances came together like that?

On the first day, after getting off the plane, I went straight to my new home. To tell the truth, I got an uncomfortable feeling moving in. This is the first time I have to walk downstairs to my room. I am used to going upstairs. Also, I was a little depressed because there was no sunshine in the room. Fortunately, my adaptability to the environment is strong, and so I just started hanging out with new friends that night just as what I did at my college. Then some amazing things started to happen. I found out my roommates are all music people and specialized in different instruments. We talked all night long about music and dreams and ended up with some exciting ideas. We decided we are going to form a band this summer!

That is what I am doing everyday right now: seeing various gigs, improving my music skills including guitar, vocal and harmonica and writing songs. Three months are going to go fast when we are jamming with friends who have the same dream together. Although many other friends I met in New York suggest that I move to their places and get rid of the wet basement, I don’t want move at all. I know it’s hard for them, just like my mom, to understand me. I just want to say to my mom and my friends, you can’t imagine how wonderful my basement life is!

What I realize is that freedom comes from my own efforts. And I wish the same for you. If you have anything in your mind you want to achieve, then go realize it! We are young and so please go follow your young hearts with no regrets.


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