Journey of Independence
It’s Independence Day in the United States. If I was asked by a reporter on the street what Independence Day means to me, I probably would respond with a little bit of verbiage stemming from what I learned in grade school and a little bit of “hmmm, that’s a great question (Selah). I can’t answer that right now”.
Often the words in our language start to lose their impact because we say them so often or we’ve been saying them so long or because we need to be reminded of what they truly mean.
Today, I asked my wife what I should write about. At times, I get so inundated with ideas, possibly rabbit trails, that I resist to sit down and just write. She suggested, “You could write about the first time you felt independence.” The word independence comes alive again.
INDEPENDENCE: FREEDOM FROM THE CONTROL, INFLUENCE, SUPPORT, AID, OR THE LIKE, OF OTHERS
The first moment I felt independence was the moment I pushed “send” on the email that I wrote, with my dad in the seat next to me, informing Norman Willis that I would no longer be attending Christ Church Kirkland (CCK). It was around 3 pm, the day after Christmas, sitting at a table in the Lake Stevens Starbucks, and typing on my ten pound Hewlett Packard pc. I didn’t like who I had become while attending CCK the previous 13 years. I was 35 years old.
Less than 3 months later, I became a minimalist and packed up everything I owned in my 2005 Honda Civic. I drove across the United States to Florida. I spent 3 months there walking the beaches, sitting in the sunshine, playing tennis, and beginning my detox from the control, influence, support, and aid of others.
JOURNEY: TRAVELING FROM ONE PLACE TO ANOTHER, USUALLY TAKING A RATHER LONG TIME: PASSAGE OR PROGRESS FROM ONE STAGE TO ANOTHER.
I like to call it my journey of independence.
Five years later and I experienced independence again, when I got to choose who I wanted to love. I finally addressed my sexuality without anyone’s influence. Tears streaming down my cheeks and rolling onto my neck, I knew that God loved me just the same for loving a woman. The reality that I could be 100% myself ripped off another layer of depending on others’ beliefs, rather than my own.
My journey of independence continues. I continue to do the work when old ways of thinking arise. I choose not to blow off the deep work of becoming one with myself. Learning the past 11 years how to love me, how to love the journey, how to love the work, how to love the opportunities to be independent; better late than never!
What does Independence mean to you?