Tuesday, March 23, 2010

hold your own

i remember the first time someone hinted to me that my ambitious nature might be anything less than completely desirable. i was talking to the mother of an old boyfriend about my life and how i'd gotten where i was at that time. it was a pretty, if i do say so myself, impressive course to have charted: on my own, full-time college student, two jobs and a robust social life. i made above-average grades and pretty much did as i pleased.

"wow," this woman said to me. "you're so... independent."

her tone was so strange that it stopped me dead in my tracks. i mean, isn't that the goal of growing up - to become an actual, real, independent adult who can fend for herself? it was the first instance i'd ever encountered of how jealous, petty people will do anything they can to thwart people who can see the road and walk down it with confidence.

growing up, i prided myself on being able to hold my own without a lot of help or guidance. i've lost track of that ambition, that will to succeed, a time or two over the years. some of my choices have suffered. but a few years ago, the scales fell from my eyes, and i started to see that (despite the stumbles) i could still have the smart, tough and exciting life i'd always wanted. it was just a matter of putting my head down and going to it. so i did. i sit here now at the end of one degree, with one more to go, ready to cut ties with my repressive and limiting choices and charge forth into the future of MY OWN DETERMINATION. i follow no rules but my own. as one story winds down, this one picks up, and it's far more exciting to me to see where this one goes...


  1. I got the same reactions when people found out I moved out when I was 17, funded my own college education and took care of myself without any help from anyone, but I'm damn proud of it!

  2. Been on my own now for a while and I don't think I'd have changed a thing. Military, college, jobs and moves (loading and unloading the truck) have all been done, for the most part, on my own. That said, as life moves along, there are some weights that may bow the back a little too much. Every so often it might be nice to have someone else around to help carry a little bit of the load. Kinda like the footprints in the sand thing, but without all the religious significance.

  3. FD - yeah, that's true. i do have a pretty good supporting cast of friends around me, and that helps a lot. i'm not one of those thoreau, walden pond, go hide in the woods and be a rugged individualist types. but in the end, i do take a deep pride (like anna said above) in doing it by myself. no better feeling in the world.

  4. And yet you're using boy #2 as your distraction/support/escape from the "ball & chain". Why not go it alone? Really alone? If you really intend to be "free", and view yourself as such, why do you still need the escape of boy #2?

    I think we all *need* people. We need family, friends, and companions. Sometimes the blinding drive to do it all, have it all, and go it all alone can ultimately be incredibly unsatisfying.

    I guess my point is - it doesn't have to be all or nothing. Let people in.

  5. anon - i think that's my goal, in the end. i'm looking to, in the short term, forge as much of an independent start as possible. but that's only to put a big wall between the mistakes of my past and the course of my future.

    as for my love life, well, i'm trying to avoid need and focus solely on want. i think that's a healthy 20-something attitude, eh?


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