Today is my independence day! I am tired of living up to the rules and perceptions of the world around me and losing myself along the way. I am tired of being “good ole’ reliable” Lisa, there to pick up the pieces, lend a hand, give good advice, solve the problem, and be on duty 24-7, while everyone else does whatever they want to do, regardless of anyone else. I am tired of being introduced only as, “someone who helps us out here” or “the wife of our a Technical Director” or “Sarah’s Mom.” I am tired of not having an identity of my own. So today I declare my personal independence. I hold these truths to be self-evident, that I am created equal, that I too am endowed . . . with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. What does this mean? It means that from this day forward I will:
- Give myself permission to write without guilt, even if it means closing my door or escaping to find a place to write on my own.
- Let my family make their own mistakes without any interference from me.
- Pursue projects and work that makes me feel fulfilled, even if it means that it cuts into the time I spend with my family.
- Put myself first for at least one hour each day.
- Insist that once in a while someone else must make a sacrifice, not just me.
Do I sound selfish? Perhaps, but I cannot continue to live my life feeling like I am only around to help others follow their dreams. I have every right to pursue dreams of my own. I am not doing anyone any favors, least of all my daughter, by allowing myself to be considered as a supporting player in my own life. So today I declare that it is my inalienable right to reach for the stars. If I crash and burn, at least I will look back on my life as one where I tried, I journeyed, and I never gave up on myself.
I intend to make it a life lived to the fullest. I intend to find joy in every step of the journey. I want to look back and say, “I’m glad I lived the life I lived, and I am proud of who I am.” If I can do that for myself, I can teach that to my daughter. If I can do that for myself, I will be the person I want to be.