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Isn't it pretty?

Monday, October 04, 2004

Giving up My Independence

I was feeling down yesterday so I decided to do something good for myself and go for a walk (this shouldn't be confused with avoiding studying, it was a necessary break). When I walk, I think, a lot. I had a dream the night before about an ex-boyfriend of mine, so he was on my mind. It was a complicated relationship, and there were many reasons that it didn't work out. But as I reflected on it, I realized that one of the things that I think caused it to fail was a trait of mine that, at the time, I was so proud of. My independence. I had lived by myself for a couple of years at the time, and I had worked very hard to get myself on my own two feet. I was very proud of the fact that I never asked anyone for help, financially or otherwise. I did everything for myself and felt that I was responsible, mature and self-sufficient. I could do anything any time I wanted, and I felt very empowered by being on my own. I loved not having to answer to anyone, and my autonomy had become very important to me. Today, over three years later, I find myself in a very different place. While I was walking yesterday I was thinking about that ultra-independent me, and how I have changed since then, and why I have changed since then. I am still very independent, I struggle with asking for help from others, but something in me has definitely changed. I have realized over the past few months that I now long to have someone to help with the day to day things. I want someone to go grocery shopping when I don't have time. I want to cook for someone else, and make what someone else likes, rather than throwing together what I like all the time. I want someone to be there at the end of the day. I want to have to answer to someone. I want to give up some measure of my independence. This realization made me wonder what got me to this point, where being self-reliant is not as important as it used to be, where I really desire to share my life, the good and bad, with someone rather than simply having someone fit into my already formed life. I think this past year in school is what did it. This past year I have worked full time while attending school in the evenings. It is a long day, and I am sometimes overwhelmed by the amount of work that I have to do. I sometimes have to run to the grocery store at 7 am before work or I won't have anything to eat that day. I think having so many responsibilities, and having no choice rather than having to handle them all by myself, has made me realize how nice it would be to work together with someone. How nice it would be to ask someone else how their day was, rather than just pondering the things that I didn't finish today that must get done tomorrow. I know that my current schedule would make it really difficult to have a family now, and I do feel fortunate that I have been afforded this time to finish my degree while I am on my own and not neglecting a spouse or children. I think I expected school to give me more independence, rather I think it has made me realize the value of giving up your independence.


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