I am independent but nothing like living on my own or of that sense.
I remember the very day I became independent. Up to my fifteenth year, I had never traveled alone except to my grandmother's, and even then I was accompanied by a flight attendant. I had never been able to go anywhere alone, not even to walk to the store which was just a couple of blocks away. I live in a big suburb of an even bigger city, so I guess my parents have a justification for keeping me 'locked in.' In this city, there are people of all kinds and of all ethnicities. Anytime I would go out with my parents or just family, I would never be surprised at what I saw, I became much of a people watcher, especially at restaurants where the family would get together and tell of old times.
I guess you could say that my front porch would have been a nice restaurant, a seemingly great place to see different people.
My favorite part of a restaurant would always be in a booth facing the door; I could see everyone walking in from there. If one of the soon to be diners saw me I would just nod my head and give a hearty smile, letting them know that I'm just a friendly little gal. Sometimes I might even get an energetic "Howdy" back or a "How are you, she's so cute," to my Momma. I was always talkin' up a storm, welcoming people to the restaurant; maybe the management took notice of me and who knows? I might just work at some restaurant.
During this period, the shy ones differed from outgoing to me only in that they never talked back. They would sit and listen though; they wanted to hear what I had to say. A little kid as cute as me got a lot of attention. People just watched with that sparkle in their eyes as I generously gave them a whole hearted conversation. I may have been a little on the young side, but I sure did have a lot to say. The shy ones always seemed to give me a little more of a smile than the outgoing people.
But changes came in the family when I was fifteenth, and I went to France all on my own. I left Irving, Texas, the place where I had always lived as a comfortable dependent me. When I arrived at the airport in Paris, I was no longer able to ask my mom to find my luggage or where to go, I was on my own. I was not a little girl; I was born again a young woman. I found that out pretty quickly as I had to do most things on my own. In my heart as in my own, I became a young woman who learned by my mistakes and grew from them.
But I am not tragically independent. There is no great sorrow backed up in my life, nor waiting inside my house. I don't mind. I do not belong here inside my mother's house where I live under her control. Even in this house, I have seen how being independent is what I want and how I wish I lived. No, I do not weep at the world-I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife.
Someone is always in my room reminding of the control I do not have. It fails to register as depression with me. My dependency is 16 years in the past and my struggle that made me independent is saying to run for my life. I am off to a flying start and I must not halt in the stretch to look behind and weep. Dependency is the price I paid to live a good life, and the choice was not mine. It is a grand adventure and worth everything I have given towards this quest. No one on earth has a greater chance of success. It is thrilling to think of my future and how full it is. I shall get twice as much praise or twice as much blame from my parents. I hold center stage and no one knows whether to clap or weep in my presence.
***This essay is an account of my life and is written by me.