I am independent.
What a statement to make, right?
As a Capricorn, I am self sufficient in nature; I am confident and determined in my capability to succeed and with this comes the ability to be independent. But I am not just independent because of the alignment of the stars. I am independent because I choose to be.
But choosing to be independent is not easy.
Being a woman in our modern society is a challenging thing. We are pulled in all directions from the media, politics, coworkers, family and friends and given conflicting advice on what to do and who to be. We are often torn apart and criticized, whether we are following the “rules” of society or going against them. We have become accustomed to endless critiques, and each day we try our hardest to seek out a nod of approval. These are the obstacles that have caused us to put limitations on ourselves, and it has caused us to question our independence.
We often fear being independent, or worse, believe we aren’t capable of it. Being alone is a frightening thing for us, we crave for someone to be there with us, for someone to reassure that we do have friends and that we will find love. We create anxiety for ourselves when we are only left with our thoughts and reflection. Yet, we admire the women that wear their confidence like a permanent ballroom gown. We want to be independent, but are afraid of what that means.
Independent /ˌin-də-ˈpen-dənt / adjective
a (1) not subject to control by others
b (1) not requiring or relying on something else
c (1) not looking to others for one’s opinions or for guidance in conduct
d (1) showing a desire for freedom
Independence is not being snooty or stuck-up, it is not being selfish or egotistical. It does not mean that you are never going to find love, or that you have no friends. It means that you are confident in your ability to be yourself, without the approval of others. It means that you are capable in conquering your goals and dreams without needing a crutch to lean on. It means that you are completely enough and nothing less. It is about self-love.
Like all good things, independence takes time. It will be difficult at first not to rely on the judgement of others, or frightening to begin a career or project that only you want or believe in, or to embark on an adventure all by yourself.
But I am here to tell you that it is worth it, and that you are worth it.
As a twenty year old trying to find her way in this world, the ability to wake up and say I am independent has been one of the greatest blessings in my life. It has taken my travels to homes of strangers that I now hold dear to my heart, from backpacking across continents to moving my life to a new city, every time with only myself as company. It has allowed me to take risks and chances, and to go after what I believe in even if others don’t approve. It has allowed me to accept my flaws, but to embrace my strengths even more. It has allowed me to move on from heartbreak, and to never settle. It has allowed me to take advantage of this beautiful life, and not to waste my time on others who make me feel less than everything that I am. And most importantly, it has allowed me to love myself for all that I am.
So today, be independent. And tomorrow, and the day after that… and the rest of your life. Because being independent is okay.
And because you are enough and nothing less.
Contributor & Intern, SERENE
Kami Bakken is an intern for SERENE and currently attends Colorado State University, studying Environmental Science and Sustainability. She immersed herself in holistic wellness as a little girl and has been on a mission to transform the world to be more mindful, healthy and sustainable.
She is an outdoor enthusiast, an herbalist junkie and a traveling devotee. You can often find her hiking in the outdoors with a hammock, a good book and some grapefruit.