Tuesday, November 18, 2008

May 5th, My Personal Day of Independence and Victory

May 5, 2008

Today, the 5th of May, is a holiday for Mexico; and many observe it here in America. It is a day of celebrating victory and fighting for independence.

And it's also my own, personal holiday.

One year ago today I became single.

After a nine-year marriage, it was at first a strange and unusual thing to strike out on my own. I lived with (grand) parents until getting married at the age of 19, and then shared the household responsibilities while married. This has been the first time I've ever lived as the solo reigning adult of a house. The hierarchy has become: God (if you believe in that), the USA government, Me. And I like that *a lot*.

As of May 5th last year, I became no longer a "collaboration" requiring compromise on every subject from finances to recreation and every minute detail in-between. This year has provided an opportunity for me to prove that I can make it as a single working mom on my own. I have now a new appreciation for independence and additional value in knowing how to be self-reliant. I've gained both the maturity of a new phase of adulthood, and yet also regained jubilant freedom of youthful optimism and hope. Each day feels like an open door for opportunity, excitement and adventure. Also, unlike as a teenager, I now know who I am, what I want and what I am capable of offering.

I love being single. I love meeting new people and learning what makes others tick, what their lives have been like and learning what wisdom and skills they can teach me. I am absolutely happy with my arrangement and will not be looking to "settle down" any time soon.

It's not about "meeting the right person". I believe a person doesn't "need" a "soul mate" to "complete them". I believe a person needs to be an independent individual, standing on their own two feet, taking care of their own life's business and being enough on their own, before they can or should invite anyone to share their life with. And for me, I have been, and will continue to relish this time of just being me. I am thrilled to be using this point of my life to focus on what I want: my goals, my ambitions, my interests.

It's also appropriate that today is the one-year mark for my being a gun owner. Freedom and the ability to defend that are intrinsically entwined. You cannot have the first without the second. I am grateful to those who have helped me learn to dismantle, clean, properly aim and shoot my gun. I appreciate those who have allowed me to use their weapons to hone my shooting skills. I have definitely developed a love for shooting and the value of that skill. It's something I intend to perfect for the rest of my life.

Life is a wonderful and amazing thing. This year, tumultuous though it's been, has brought great challenges, great opportunities and a plethora of great friends. Call it blessed or just truly fortunate, I have had the pleasure of getting to know and spend time with some really wonderful people. Thank you.

I also need to acknowledge some irreplaceable friends who have been in my corner for over a decade now and I am eternally grateful to count them as kindred spirits in my chosen family. They continue to be a wonderful example and remind me perpetually to be honest and genuine. I wouldn't be the same person without having known them. It's been a comfort to know that there are some people who are prepared to make the journey of life along side you, even if they are on varied and separate paths.

I've also made some treasured connections in this last year with family members who I haven't talked to in years, including several siblings I haven't seen in nearly a decade. And of course there are my grandparents and my sister who have been my springboard for some of my biggest 'life lesson' experience.

Not having any family living less than 1,500 miles away has been sometimes disheartening for me, so it's great to be able to interact and connect via other mediums. We all need some variation of "family", no matter how independent we may successfully be. I'm glad I have a new opportunity to bond with mine, even if we are geographically challenged.

To everyone who have sent me smile evoking comments, written me letters, indulged me with long phone conversations, and spent time together in person- you have helped restore some faith in humanity. Helped me see the goodness, the generosity and the altruistic kindness that people are capable of. You have helped make this year, honestly- the best year I've ever had.

I feel as though I'm standing at the beginning of an exhilarating adventure. And I can hardly wait.

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