Independence, in its most basic form, means freedom. For me, that means that I have the freedom to be ME--to have my own opinions, to do my own things, to follow my passions, to live my own life. Granted, there are times--as a wife and mother--when I have to put my freedom on the back burner in the best interests of someone else, but still, in the end, that is because I had the freedom to CHOOSE to do so, not because I was compelled to do it by someone else.
I used to get teased that, by being born on July 5th, I take the concept of "independence" a little more seriously than most. I'm not sure that's where it comes from, but the fact of the matter is that I have always been, or wanted to be, an independent soul. As a child, that was often a bone of contention, particularly with my mother.
As I moved into the part of my life where I was involved in romantic relationships, I found myself hiding more and more of the "real me," wanting to fit in and wanting people to like me. Eventually, I began to feel as if there was no time when I could honestly be who I wanted to be, and to resent everyone I felt had been part of taking that away from me.
Over the last few years, however, I have come to realize that the only person who took it away, and who could bring it back, was ME. So now I am becoming "TERESA" again, a little more every day.
The strength, the independence, the confidence, the ability to state my opinion even when no one else shares it....it's all coming back, and I feel FREE again!!