Fiercely Independent?


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!

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Comments

  1. I love being independant, but I also have to admit, I love someone taking care of me too. I have two personalities (or rather I am two hilaries as I am sometimes called. Work Hilary and Home Hilary) Work Hilary is fiercely independant. She manages a team of 20, but also is in charge of the finances for a company with about 100 people. She has to make rapid fire decisons all day long. Home Hilary on the other hand, doesn’t like to have to think about anything. She likes when Marc checks the weather and tells her that it will storm so she should alternate her route, or change what she is wearing. Or when he knows she is stressed, stomach in knots, and he reminds her to eat.

    • I can totally understand the two Hilary thing!!! I am sure that when you have a job with a lot of responsibility it translates to wanting to get away from it a bit when you are at home and it is nice to have a husband who fills in when you just want to shut down a little bit. Thanks, Hilary!!! Loved hearing your take on things today!

  2. This is so good! The insecurities that plague me (and most people I think) can be so deadly to our self-perception. The sermon I heard yesterday (at the Wesley Foundation at Florida State University where I was visiting Leslie) talked about “what if when we looked in the mirror we saw ourselves as God sees us when he looks at us – beloved, instead of our own insecurities and what others say about us.”
    I come from a line of strong, independent women and as much as I think I want a knight in shining armor, I think that am a mix of independence and self-doubt!!
    Last week a friend commented about my independence and all of the things that fill my life- then she said, “I think you are able to do all of those things because you know that Walter is your anchor.” Probably very true. Walter and the Lord.
    Anyway – this is a great post and I love you so much!

    • That is a great sermon!! And something we all need to be reminded of—often!!!! Walter is your anchor for sure—it helps to have someone who is there for you in that respect and supports you no matter what direction your life goes but of course–the real anchor is God! We are so blessed with our lives, aren’t we?? Thanks for the sweet comment. It means a great deal coming from you, my friend!!! Love you back!

  3. I think back to my teen time and I also, had very little confidence in myself. I then went to college, had some great friends, married one of them and have been so happy and with his help (and God’s help) began to understand and appreciate what I had become. I am very independent now, too much so at times. I also see as I age I can’t do everything on my own and need some help to keep up. We need not fear change but accept it and be happy with what we are.

    • I have seen you grow a lot in independence over the years and sometimes yes—you can be TOO independent but that is part of what I love most about you—you do what you can for yourself!!!

  4. This post first gave me major goosebumps! I love everything you wrote and I too have MAJOR insecurities. Getting into a difficult marriage with a man who figured it was better to belittle his wife rather than be supportive did nothing for my self esteem. When I finally left him I could not even look anyone in the eye…forget carry on a conversation.
    BUT I am a firm believer in all things happen for a reason…and I would not be the person I am today if that hadn’t happened. I had to be independent… raising 3 kids… they came first. I still do not like to share how I feel or if I am scared about something as they are my children and really shouldn’t have to be concerned with that.
    What a great topic… I might have to steal it as a pondering subject….

    • I am THRILLED that you liked my post today!!! Yay!!! I am such an admirer of yours and that meant a lot to me that it sparked something in you! Of course it would be a great pondering subject!!!! Absolutely!

  5. Great post Beth Ann! I think for the most part I am an independent person – the only child factor probably set that in motion. It is interesting to see that independence changes as we move through different phases of our lives! 🙂

  6. Great post, Beth Ann. I think I may have errored in the direction of being too independent before I met Sara. Since we’ve been together I’ve had to learn about being half of a couple in a addition to a full and complete individual. Interesting adjustment.
    Hugs,
    Kathy

    • I think independence definitely has its place but how wonderful to have someone to share it with and allow them to be a partner and not always have to rely totally on yourself!!! 🙂

  7. This post resonates with me Beth Ann. For all my married life (41 plus years) I too had to be independent as my husband traveled often and far away. So I learned early to make decisions on my own, but how I loved it when he was around to help -make some of the decisions. I loved being part of a partnership in the true sense of the word. My daughter has learned to be independent and inter-dependent from watching her parents and is now passing this on to her boys.

    • You do understand what I was trying to convey–you have lived it!!! Good for you! It is interesting the turns our lives take and the directions we sometimes are taken that we never expected!

  8. I’m becoming more independent as the years pass, however my dependence on God has grown.

  9. I was fiercely independent most of my life to cope with childhood abuse, a neglectful first marriage & a relationship with an alcoholic. Current hubby would like me to be more dependent & sometimes I have to remind him “I don’t need another parent.” I appreciate the things he does for me, especially since I’ve been having some physical disabilities this year, but I still want my independence.

  10. Here’s to being independent!!! I think in some ways I gained more independence since being married to the hubby. He’s pushed me to think for myself and get my point across and learn to do things more myself than relying on others to do them for me.

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