Saturday, July 05, 2008

Independence

So I read my friend's blog. Err...her kids' blog. Actually, I'm not sure who's blog it is, but it's good. She, like me, has had her reasons to keep her blog private.

Anyway, she was blogging about what yesterday meant to her - and suffice it to say, it didn't have a lot to do with our country. I hope that it is okay that I quote her - especially since I'm still not sure what the etiquette of blogging is. Please, in all sincerity, let me know if it's not.

One of the things that I loved from her blog was this:
"But the 4th is all about independence, right? And independence is what I've wanted. The chance to be myself, the chance to have my own opinions. "... "The chance to stand on my own two feet and raise my fist in the air and say I WON'T LIVE THIS WAY ANYMORE."

I can't begin to tell you what this little blurb meant to me - I've thought about it quite a bit since I read it yesterday morning. In the context of her life, and in mine. It's funny how two people can be in such different places in their life, a thought I'm sure I had 10 years ago.

I suppose part of me is proud that I'm independent. I've worked very hard to become so. Growing up in my family, money seemed to be a big control factor so I was so very thankful when I was able to be financially independent. I've made sure that I've never stayed in a place too long - I always wanted to be able to go where it pleased me to go and move to whatever job suited me best at the time. I'm 31. I've owned three homes, I've had multiple dogs, and I am living in the place where I was born - a place I've wanted to get back to since we moved when I was 7, a place I mentally called home when no place else felt safe. Career-wise, I'm an engineer... and I'm almost always amazed at how it seems to impress the parents of whomever I'm dating.

My mom likes to tell the story of how I never really liked to be touched when I was a kid. I'm sure I wanted to be nurtured for what I felt was an appropriate amount, but I didn't want to be cuddled, I didn't want to be fussed over. When I learned how to crawl and then walk, I didn't want to be carried any more. I'm sure that my desire to be independent and not allow someone else to make the choices led to me being overweight - I wanted to control me in any and all ways that I could. Suffice it to say, I've been independent in varying degrees my whole life.

You'll understand how weird it is then, that I feel most loved when other people depend on me. I don't see dependence as a weakness in anyone else. I love nothing more than to help encourage someone else, help them feel loved, beautiful, important, and fantastic - exactly the way they are. I enjoy nurturing others and giving back. Sometimes, when I feel most empty, I push to volunteer - because what I get back from doing it feels better than anything else in the world. Well...almost anything else. ;) Somehow I feel good knowing that I'm strong enough to shoulder whatever burden that a situation carries with it. I'm happy to take on more if it means someone else having an easier time.

Independence IS what I've wanted.

My big struggle these days is acknowledging my desire to be dependent.

My desire to completely trust another human being.

My desire to recognize that my life is out of control, and I require a higher power to lean on. My desire to acknowledge that being strong all the time, or even most of the time, doesn't have as high of a pay off as what I had hoped.

I'm 31 and although my life feels full from time to time, I'm tired of being independent, of being the one who makes all the decisions.

I'm ready to lean...or at least ready to learn how to lean.

Pride has gotten me this far...perhaps humility will take me the rest of the way.

3 comments:

Jen said...

I love the very last sentence of this post!! I think there has to be an even balance in life!

Love You

Jen

The Girls' Moma said...

Oh, Anne.

Thanks.

Your thoughts on the subject I broached are beautiful. And I understand them; I do.

Someday I'll return to a place of dependence. But for now, I have to make some time for me. Financial independence? What's that? Spiritual thoughts that come from my thought processes and not someone elses'? Huh? I know not of that which you speak. I gotta get my brain wrapped around some things. And it's strange, because I'm so used to being so DEpendent.

You are the most amazingly amazing chick I know. We need to have more time together.

L

Ginger said...

Warning - this is a little disjointed:

Thanks for the insightful honesty here, Anne. I think I am like you in a lot of ways: 'I MUST be independent and can be at anytime I want' is the mantra I recite daily.. BUT if I step back and examine my life, I realize I am actually fairly dependent on a lot of things (Rich, financial security, my job..). I sometimes PUSH it all away in search of what I think is independence.

Last summer, for example, I went to England by myself for a couple of weeks and made sure to get lost - as in I didn't know where in the heck I was or how to get back to where I was staying - because I needed to show myself that I could exist on my own, without a husband or a plan. And I did it. And it was magnificent. I want to go again.

But then, I had a cell phone, and a credit card, and friends nearby. Was I really independent?

I will not allow myself to need people and will not ask for help of any kind - I'd almost rather die. But I'm not sure if I would call that independence or stupidity..

How do we manage humility and pride?

AND you are a fantastic nurturer, btw. Thank you for that!