Today, we celebrate Independence Day and the Declaration of Independence. I am currently studying Western Civilization history this semester and ironically enough we just finished the Enlightment period. John Locke, an enlightment thinker believed that every person had the right to Life, Liberty and Property and while he influenced the Declaration of Independence, the founding fathers did add pursuit of Happiness. I loved this period of history because it seemed like they just wanted freedom and the right to think for themselves. As someone who struggles with balancing the need of help from others and want to think and do for myself, Independence goes far beyond being free from control but simply learning to be free beyond what I cannot control.
When I think of Independence, I think of June 1st 2009. The day I made my first ‘adult’ decision in order to have a little more control over my life. I had surgery that would allow me to be able to attend school longer, go places without someone there with me and feel normal. While the process was painful and frustrating at times there is not one thing I would change. I am a stronger and more appreciative person because of it. Although, the surgery gave me physical independence, I am still at war to beat the odds of control
So on this Independence day, I celebrate my own war. The war I have fought within myself to be the best I can be despite what I have had to face. Independence is being able to go to school and give it all I got; scheduling bus rides going to and from despite sometimes having to battle the craziness, someone asking to help and being able to look them in the eye and say, “No. I got it.” and they stand back observing in awe. It’s the little things that make me grateful for my own independence. Sometimes you have to just appreciate what you can do and let the rest take care of itself.
Happy Independence Day