Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Celebrating Independence

Baby, You're a Firework.
The 4th of July has always been one of my favorite holidays. It is the perfect mid-summer break and is an actual holiday I can remember because of its theme. Sadly, I'm one of those people that Labor Day and Memorial Day seem like the same day, even though I know they aren't.

Some of my fondest 4th of July memories were celebrating at my Aunt Julie's family's farm (Thank you, Meades!). We swam in the pool (which had a slide and therefore upgraded it from any pool around). We had a raucous badminton tournament (shocking fact for people out there is that my mom was one hell of a badminton player--she could hustle a hustler in that area). My uncle Jeff, who I think was an electrician in his previous life,  not only rigged flood lights so we could play badminton past dark, but also threw one of the best fireworks displays out there.

But despite all the memories, I always think of this as Independence day. I've always been told that I've been independent myself and found in that a source a pride. I think part of it was because my mother highly valued independence. Whether it was true or not, I know she felt like she spent a good part of her life without independence. So she taught me to value my thoughts and actions as my own.

Now that I'm older, I still value my independence, but I've wondered: can you be married and still be independent? (Clearly not speaking in the political sense here). I think you can. Just like you can be American and not agree with all of our country's policies. You can be a part of a team or something bigger and still be independent. Of course, I think you have to fight for it more and do more work to make sure you aren't arbitrarily agreeing with the larger world out of ease.

There's not only work with independence, but a strong belief. I heard Amy Poehler say this at a speech a few months back and while I'm not pursuing comedy it still stuck with me. She said something to the effect of that if you choose to pursue something that's not the normal path of life, you should expect to have money, marriage, and kids later in life than all your friends. It resonated with me, and made me again think of the word independent.

So, we can celebrate the US all we want (and I am doing so by watching John Adams on HBO while working on a department budget), but I'm also celebrating my own independence. Hooray!

1 comment:

Nicole said...

You brought a patriotic.. independent tear to my eye. LOL


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