But have you ever considered independence day in a different light? Not the one with capital letters but any small, insignificant day in which something extraordinary happened to change your life? This happens to people all the time; a chain of events occurs and, pouf, your life is changed.
Sometimes it is the unexpected job promotion that literally. Or, not very likely but still possible, you win the lottery. Or your proverbial rich uncle leaves you an inheritance. Suddenly you have more money than you know what to do with! Your ship has come in. You can do anything you want. You are ‘independent’.
But is being rich the key to independence? Hummm… I don’t think so. I consider myself an independent woman yet I do not consider myself financially wealthy. I believe independence comes from something very different than money.
It’s inside of us. It is that spark that burns deep with us. That bravery that makes us step forward when we want to shrink back into obscurity. That thing that makes us tackle the unwinnable problem. The desire to be our own person and not let anyone dictate who we are.
And yet, as with all things, we can take a good thing too far. Being too independent is not usually going to lead us to happiness or fulfillment. In life, all things must be in balance. For me, personal independence is the knowledge that I could live completely separate from others and not have to rely on anyone for anything. I have the knowledge base, the skills, and the experiences to make that happen. My reality is that I don’t want to do that. I want to share my life with others. I am willing to compromise some of my personal independence for my friends and family, I am willing to share some of my time and money for others who need it, I am willing to be altruistic to those I don’t even know. My realization of independence comes not from feeling that I have to do these things but from the fact that I want to. And knowing that I can.
We are all intertwined in one way or another on this journey through life. While it is a freeing feeling to know you can stand alone and not have to depend on others for anything, it is a lonely place to be. In my opinion, it is a much more rewarding feeling to be surrounded by people who you know you can rely upon, no matter what. People you can lean on when times are tough. People who will help you find your footing again so you can stand on your own two feet. So you can do the same for them when their time comes for assistance.
What was your ‘independence day’? Have you had it yet?