What does regaining independence mean? It can mean different things for different situations. In a lot of cases it is directly related to your health and wellbeing—mentally or physically. Today, I am celebrating a year of regained independence. A year I never imagined would happen, a year that has proven my own resilience and strength day after day. (Wow Aime you really love yourself…why yes I do!). I woke up this morning in Denver CO, with my two dogs, in my king size bed, alone. I made breakfast, sat and had coffee by my Christmas tree, did my hair, chose a fierce outfit, and drove to work perfectly on time for my one on one with my manager.
This time last year, I was waking up alone for the first time, in my house in Saint Paul, crying. I was with my two dogs, in my king size bed. I didn’t eat, I was late to work because I was fighting with my husband over the phone, and I cried the moment I saw my coworker in the elevator. Later that day I had to take down my new Christmas tree, and my friends and I started packing up my home. There’s a pit in my stomach just thinking about how that day went. Everything was so dark. In just 365 days, I have picked my life up and moved it in the direction I wanted it to go. For the most part I regained my independence. I still am occasionally caught saying we. When we moved, when we got this, when we went here or there.
I have read so many online articles about how to do it. Which is so embarrassing. Most of you know my favorite genre is still “Self Help” right now, HA. So I fill my brain as much as possible with all the shit about being great, being at peace with yourself, remembering you have flaws but focusing on the future you want. Believe and you can achieve type bullshit. I say bullshit but, it’s helped a lot. My best revenge will always be success. And here I am.
One of the best things I committed to was not hiding from anything. Being brutally honest with people, and myself. This sounds stupid, but that includes Facebook memories. Every day when I looked back at my memories I was reminded how much of my life was consumed by someone that did not reciprocate. I told myself that if I didn’t delete those “memories” as they came, I would wake up one day five years from now not thinking of him, and think of him. It would control how I felt from the moment I saw his face on my phone. That is independence. Taking control being realistic with myself. Does that make sense? A year of Facebook memories so I never need to be reminded of the day we got engaged, or his first trip to the ocean, or seeing him holding my precious niece. Regaining independence by admitting to myself that he doesn’t need to be in any part of my memories.
The definition of independent is: free from outside control; not depending on another’s authority. Sometimes people think it means you have to start going to the movies alone. Or doing some Eat Pray Love shit. And, what I have constantly had to remind myself is that independence is not about being alone. It is about freeing yourself from the control that is no longer relevant. Things like: allowing someone to make you feel inferior, or controlling your emotions, or deciding the outcome of your day. Independence is going out with a friend you haven’t seen in a while at 9pm on a worknight. Independence is admitting when you can’t be alone because of how you are feeling. Independence is going on dates for the hell of it because you’re single and ready to mingle. Independence is moving to a new city for a new adventure.
I don’t mistake loneliness for independence. When I tell someone I am independent, it doesn’t mean I’m suddenly “solo sally”. It means my life is not controlled by the wants and needs of another human being. And that is a fucking fresh breath of air. My independence is something I flaunt on the daily as I should. I like to tell dates I am “fiercely”independent (sexy right?), and I’m so proud that it’s true. No one person is controlling, where, when or how bright my light is shining. Cheers to a year of strength, discovery, and happiness and the many more to come.