I never used to think about being independent and about how much a part of me it might become as I grew older but I have discovered that it is a quality that I do possess. I have not hidden the fact that I used to struggle with insecurities and self doubt. As a teenager I struggled with the all of the self esteem issues that plague so many teenagers. I did not actually like who I was. I doubted my abilities. I had no end of support and affirmation and yet I still doubted what my abilities were. I had it all when it came to support. Loving parents and siblings, friends that I still call friends today some 35 years later, church family that always lifted me up, teachers that believed in me and encouraged me–they were all omniprescent. And yet—I still doubted who I was and what my worth was.
College brought me a bit of a boost once I got into my field of study. I found that I could really be who I wanted to be. I had professors who guided me and helped me to realize that the studies pursued went far beyond the classroom. I met my husband who I have said time and time again is my biggest cheerleader. We started our life together and he never doubted my abilities.
I leaned on him a great deal. It was not always easy to move a thousand miles away from my family and leave all that was familiar to start our lives together while he started his career. I lost a bit of myself for awhile and became quite dependent upon him for that cheerleader role. Add to that the fact that I could not find a job that would work with our lives at that point and my independence slipped a bit.
Children came and I found new purpose. The career that I thought I would have was replaced with what I realized was my career goal all along—raising a family. Not a bad gig if it is what you truly want and for me it was indeed what I wanted. I once again rediscovered that I was good at something and that it was fine to accept this as my “job”. I was content.
As time has passed I have had to adapt and adjust a bit to what life has brought. Corporate life means moving. New places and new people to meet. A husband who travels often has forced me to become a little bit more independent. I am used to just doing things myself a lot of times. On a recent vacation together I was touched by my husband’s concern for me—he thought I was getting “overheated” in a plant and made me get into the air conditioning and got me water to drink. It seemed out of the normal for me because I always just take care of myself. I don’t think I need anyone to take care of me anymore. I have to admit it was kind of a nice feeling—-to be looked after and to have someone be concerned about me. I know he always does that but it really struck me that day that I don’t “need” anyone to fulfill those needs in me anymore. Maybe I have grown up?
Our boys are both fiercely independent. They are both strong personalities who seek out relationships that are not based on “neediness”. They like to be with individuals who are self confident and have a good sense of who they are. I admire that. I’d like to think that their dad and I had something to do with that desire to be with people who are independent and self assured.
How do YOU feel about being independent? Are you? Has life put you in situations where you have had to change in this regard? I would love to hear your thoughts today!