This month's kit theme at Scrapbooking from the Inside Out is INDEPENDENCE. Not the kind of Independence that we celebrate on the fourth of July, but the kind that should be celebrated every day. The ability to be our own person, stand on our own two feet and to succeed based on our own merit.
Rachel wrote a fabulous post about the Independence kit for the Creating Keepsakes blog and I highly recommend that you check it out. If you leave a comment, you'll actually have the opportunity to win this fabulous kit, in addition to gaining some great perspective.
After reading Rachel's article, I reflected on my own independence. Unlike most, independence was not something that I opted for. Instead, it chose me. Since I lost both my mom and dad by the time I was 19, I had no choice but to make my own way. Sure I had friends to encourage and love me, but I had no safety net. No security, no one who was going to tell me what I had to or needed to do in order to take care of myself. I just had to wing it.
From an outsider's view, I suppose I would have appeared very independent; but I knew the truth. I kept wishing, hoping, searching for some guy to take care of me. Not to tell me what to do, but to make me feel important, worthwhile, and loved. It was my desire to be validated by another person that truly meant that I was not independent, because my belief in myself was not enough for me. And I believe that this is true for most women.
RuPaul is known for saying "If you can't love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else?" And I couldn't agree more. I know so many people who will tell others that they like themselves, they love themselves, but just because they can say the words, it doesn't make it true. You have to know that you can and will be happy regardless of if you have a partner to share your life with; as a partner is not a guarantee. And if you spend your life searching for one, you may miss out on some of the most fantastic experiences that would have been just as spectacular with or without someone to share it with.
Trust me when I tell you that I'm speaking from experience. I can look back now at some of the schmo's that I dated and convinced myself were "the one." Quite honestly, I even had a bit of a nervous breakdown at the end of my senior year of college because my boyfriend had broke up with me and I had really believed that we were in it for the long haul. I kept thinking that he was supposed to be my happily ever after, and if I blew it then I would never be happy. It wasn't until several weeks later that I had an epiphany and realized that if he didn't stay with me, then he couldn't have been "the one", and I still had a chance at finding my Prince Charming. How sad is that? I mean bravo for me figuring this out on my own, but yet I was headed back to the drawing board in my all important quest for security, which I had been providing for myself all along (but didn't realize it at the time.)
I love Disney movies as much as the next person, but all this talk about Princes rescuing the damsels in distress is really setting up our daughters to believe that every girl needs a man to rescue them, to complete them, in order to live happily ever after; and that's just not true. I know a lot of happy, single women who are doing great things with their lives. Do they wish that they had a partner? Perhaps, but they don't let that stop them from living full and rewarding lives.
On the other hand, I also know many women who were like me. They wanted to believe that "someone" loved them, and that they would show them how much they loved them by committing the rest of their lives to them, but then ultimately they got divorced because they really weren't right for each other.
By the time I met Luis, I believe that I was independent which is why we were able to have a successful relationship. I had already decided the ways in which I was going to move ahead in my life, regardless of having a boyfriend or husband and I figured out what was going to make ME happy.
In true Bumpy Ride fashion, I've gone all around the mulberry bush with this one. So what's my point? Well, it's that if you are not your own person, you can never really be someone else's. You need to walk the walk not just talk the talk. Because if you were faking your independence, and your self-confidence, it will leave room for others to control you rather than respect you. It will not turn out to be exactly what you're searching for, because you were looking way too hard. In order to have a truly rewarding relationship, whether it be with a partner or with a friend, I honestly believe that one must be independent in both words and actions.
Till next time...
Queen of EVERYTHING