Miss Independent / by Michelle Cowan

What happens when a woman, surrounded by reminders of her strength as an individual and who highly values her sense of independence, realizes that she doesn’t want to be quite so independent anymore?

Answer: A wrestling match.

Two sides of me are wrestling, battling it out. Although independence is one thing everyone can depend on me for, I want something else. I want to share, too. I don’t want to lose my individuality, but I want to experience the joys of merging more with the people I care about. I want to feel engrained in the lives of others, or at least one other person, and for them to feel a part of mine. Perspectives broaden when moments are shared, when visions are exchanged, when authenticity reigns supreme.

I want more of that joy, yet I want to grow in my own way. I don’t want to get caught up solely in the interests of another human being or for people to cling to me and ride my coat tails. I want to branch out freely according to my own path and let my deepest seed spring to life.

But I also want to experience that kind of growth with someone else. I want to get a little wrapped up in the cares and concerns of someone else. I want to tell someone about my journey and hear about hers or his, too. That would broaden me.

So I wrestle. I try to hang on to my free time and try to do things that stretch me while holding the deep desire to be with someone else and participate in life with him or her. I spend time with other people while making sure to assert my own opinions and ask if we can together share the growth experiences I could engage in solo.

Until I find a balance, I’ll feel the tension. There must be tension to build up new parts of me. Until harmony is achieved, I’ll simply be grateful to experience something I haven’t ever really had in my life.

I suddenly want to share my life, in a genuine, actionable way. The notion of sharing a life is no longer, for me, a hypothetical exercise. I honestly desire a kind of merge. I don’t want to jump into foolhardy codependency, but neither do I want to remain at arm’s length. I’ve experienced much of the world alone. What would it be like to experience it with a second set of eyes, or at least with someone to tell the story to at the end of the day?