Independent me


I’m always asked why I moved to New Hampshire. When I respond “for a job” I usually get a silent pause followed by “that’s cool” or something similar. Apparently women don’t move 1100 miles from home for a job. I guess had I moved “for a man”, my answer would be more appropriate or at least more widely accepted.

I’m not that kind of woman. I never have been. I’m independent. I always have been, always will be…or so I thought.

It’s no secret to anyone that knows me that I’ve been unhappy for over a year. Not all day, every day unhappy because I’ve certainly had my moments of joy. But in general the past 29 months have been tough. I’ve struggled to determine the source of my despair. There are some obvious factors that contribute, but my life has never been a cakewalk and I’ve never before been in the valley of despair for such an extended period of time.

Then it hit me, and I mean pretty literally smacked me upside the head as I was texting my roommate (a.k.a. my Mom) that I wasn’t coming home on a Saturday night (yes, I’m 41 and I still check in)….

I’m no longer independent. I lost the very thing that has made me, me. I’ve come to rely on others and not myself and it scares the hell out of me.

I came home to fix myself when I lost my license. I’ve learned things about myself here,  good and bad.  But this place didn’t make me stronger, it’s sapped my strength. It’s made me reliant on others. NH made me strong. Through everything that happened, I wasn’t scared, worried a little at times, but not scared that I wouldn’t make it. I was determined. Determined to handle whatever life threw my way.

Now I’m scared, terrified in fact of standing on my own two feet. My unfortunate incident may have stripped me of my independence by taking away my license, but being home has only furthered my need for other people to the point that I’m scared to death to move on without them.

There are moments when I feel brave enough to stand up to my challenges, but then I can list 435 reasons why is easier to keep on the path I’m on. So many reasons that I could stay where I’m at, but none of them are more powerful than the one reason why I need to pick myself up, dust myself off and step out on my own.

That reason is love, love for myself and my kids. It’s scary as hell to step into a situation that you don’t have complete control over, but it’s the only way anything will ever change.

Independence feels good and it looks good on me. (Except for the bags you’ll see under my eyes as I work 60-70 hours a week to make ends meet.) I’ve been down too long and now that I finally know why, it’s time to take a chance again, just like I did 16 years ago when I left home for a job. Baby steps this time, but independent me is the only me I like and it’s time to find her again.