When I have been thinking about this Wicked Wednesday prompt I have written out a few ideas in my head.
All perfectly adequate examples of what independence means to me, right now. But they didn’t quite make it out of brain and I couldn’t figure out why.
I quite often use songs to inspire or unlock my writing and as such I have a spotify playlist. I also run a fair bit, and due to the recent turn of events am finding myself treading the pavements locally rather than heading off the beaten track into the wilderness. To stave off boredom I invested in a set of headphones and last friday I did my longest run in months, with my tunes playing. In amongst all of the lively, lusty and wonderful tunes was this gem:
I fell in love with this tune when I first heard it at the start of the year but I couldn’t work out why, aside from the intoxicating nature of her voice accompanied by the simple acoustic guitar.
It wasn’t until I was running along last week that I truly listened.
Maybe it was because of how quiet my brain was? A very special visit left me with art on my flesh and a mind quieter than I recall it being in a very long time. Or maybe I was just ready to understand what she has to say and how it relates to me.
My friends have been known to describe me as “strong, independent and bloody minded” and I am. Absolutely. No doubt about that. But sometimes in life I have lost sight of that, when I have been alone in the company of those who say they love me. I have compromised on my self to be part of something unhealthy. And that is OK, I understand that for what it is. Each time I have learnt and all of those three qualities has increased as I close the door on unpleasantness.
They often spoke as though I had been set free
But I travelled only in service of my dreams
I stood before them all, I was a sleepwalker
It is easy to build walls to hide behind, and masquerade as strong, independent and bloody minded. I see that in some of my friends now, and I recognise it in the me of 6 years ago. But what happens if you allow yourself to be vulnerable. I mean truly vulnerable. To cut yourself wide open and set yourself free under the watchful gaze of someone who understands how fragile that strength is and will do everything in their power to nurture that and keep it, and you, safe. To allow yourself to be cared for by someone who works hard to teach you the lessons that you have either never learnt or that have been scraped out of your poor mind when former partners tried to break you?
In my case it gave me the freedom to be absolutely myself.
And to do so without the need for validation from everyone else, without the fear of what others might say. He follows the path that is right for him, and through his example I have learnt to do the same. To be independent on my own terms, to take myself on new and exciting journeys, to grow and develop under my own steam. To love myself from the inside out, and to be able to share that without expectation or need. And while I may drop to my knees when our paths are entwined I am still encouraged to set and achieve my own goals, to live my own life and follow my own feet.
And of all the roads and the cities that I passed through
And of all the eyes I have searched inside
The one sense of permanence that I came to feel was mine
Only beneath your gaze
No longer am I a sleepwalker, plodding through life under the misconception that everything is sunny even though my walls didn’t even have cracks in the render.
I have found true independence through being vulnerable and allowing someone special to help me knock down a few walls and give me the tools to build an entire house from the rubble, complete with french doors and skylights to let the sunshine in!