No flags, no fireworks, no fanfare or parades. The act of being independent is emotionally and physically taxing. I write this remembering what it was like for me, and having just talked to a friend who is going through the process today, takes me back a bit.
Being independent, and being in charge of yourself seems to be an uncomfortable ride. If life were a motorcycle, most of us would prefer to be on the back, hanging onto someone in front. That way we’d have the wind in our hair and our arms wrapped around the security of another; feeling happy, not driving, and enjoying the ride.
Independence is still being on that motorcycle, no you don’t have the security of someone to hang on to, and yes you have to drive, but you get to steer, and the ride is still nice. You decide if it’s San Francisco, or San Antonio… you decide if you’re going to park on the side of the road with no progression. You decide if you want to ride in the rain, or stop in the sun. You, you, you.
Which may sound like pressure, -far from it. Not everything in life is right or wrong, happy or sad, easy or hard…Changing what you experience from one, doesn’t mean you have to deal with the polar opposite of the other.
If you are driving the motorcycle, the wind is still in your hair, the road is still under your tires. It’s not an opposite experience, it’s just different. If the thought of independence feels scary, you likely don’t have experience of it feeling like freedom. There are people out there who choose freedom, who choose independence. They choose to miss out on much pleasure, but they benefit from the solo ride too. What they want -when they want -how they want… That’s freedom!
I personally am far enough away from my independence day, and likely far enough away from finding someone to drive my motorcycle, that I sit here on the bike, wondering which I'd prefer. At this stage of the journey I'm not sure. For now, I ride.