Tomorrow is Independence Day. Our forefathers signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776. It is our national birthday. I was thinking about it this morning, and how exciting it must have been for a country to be declaring its independence and creating its own identity. It makes me think of the day that I signed my divorce papers from my first marriage. I filed, so I had to go in and do the paperwork. On that day, there was nothing but women in my little legal conclave. I remember thinking that women must seek divorce more often than men. That shocked me. I saw a figure that women initiate divorce 66% of the time in this country. I know in my case, I was the one who took the initiative to leave in both marriages. I think it’s very difficult to make the decision to declare your independence. It’s scary.
I’m sure our forefathers were worried about how to build a country much like I was worried about how to build a life on my own that first time. The transition was easier the second time because I’d done it before. I had the grief and the pain, but I knew I could do it on my own. That first time was scary as hell. I have several friends going through their first divorces right now. One has been married 38 years. One has toddlers. It is hard to declare your independence. If you are going through that right now, my heart goes out to you. It felt like I was walking into a void with no way to turn back. But, once I started moving forward, there was no turning back. I had to suck it up and do it. In hindsight, those were some of the most liberating days of my life.
I know that God loves single people. God loves divorced people. He cares about our lives as much as he does for those who choose the more traditional route. I used to think I was a second-class citizen. I spent my first night in my new temporary place in Baton Rouge last night. If you’ve been following me, you know I just relocated here. I have dreams, and I love to have excitement and change in my life. Being independent has helped me to achieve that without tearing up other people’s lives with my own needs. My new temporary roommate has dreams in his life, too. When we reconnected a few short weeks ago, we both needed some things to fall into place to make some rather big moves that we wanted to make. I needed a place to stay. He needed someone to watch his place. It was not lost on either of us that this was a common solution. God has worked like that for me before. Complicated living situations just work out. I believe God cares about my need for independence and loves helping me to be who I am.
I know that I’m happier when I’m not married. Now, you could argue that I haven’t found the right person. That may be true. But, I am happier single. I am spontaneous. I walk to the beat of a different drummer. I get bored really easily if I don’t change things up occasionally. I try to balance it with some stability because I need that, too. I certainly don’t think constant change is healthy either. In order to grow, I have to stick around and let myself get close to people and deal with the issues in my life. But, the longer I live, the more I get to know myself and accept myself for the way I am. I may not be the marrying kind. Knowing that and accepting that is its own sort of independence. That doesn’t mean I don’t want to be in a relationship or two. I crave that, too. But, there are all kinds of relationships. The last time I was home, Mama said that she didn’t know why I’d ever want to be married again. I think she’s right. Why mess up a good thing?
Tomorrow, I’ll be celebrating with some of my old college friends. I hear there’s a big party in Watson that I may attend on Saturday. I’ve got a lot of things to celebrate in regards to my independence. I got an offer on my house last night. If I can get that nailed down, I’ll be independent from that commitment. I loved that house. I loved being there. It’s time to move on, though. There is a void in front of me, but it’s not black anymore. It’s filled with sunlight, laughter, fireworks and love. I often tell people that if I’d known what single life would look like, I would have RUN to it. Like our country’s independence, it’s certainly not perfect, but at least its mine.