I Believe in Independence

Alysha - Hudson, New Hampshire
Entered on April 17, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in independence. I believe that the measure of an individual’s strength depends on whether he or she maintains a certain level of independence; and yet I feel as though it is a characteristic that has always come naturally to me. I find it quite difficult to rely on others. Some view my excessive amount of independence as a dent in my personality, but I see my independence as one of my best qualities. Others would argue that such independence is a nicer way of saying that I have trust issues or that I tend to be stubborn. I, however, disagree. Independence allows myself to prove that I have the ability to be strong enough to withstand anything that may come my way; it prepares me to be capable of standing on my own two feet no matter what situation I may be put into.

My independence affects my extra curricular activities. Tennis is essentially an activity consisting of independence, which is exactly why I am attracted to this sport. I depend only on myself while I am on the tennis court. I congratulate myself when I score a point, and I blame myself when I make an error. Even though I am required to play doubles, I prefer to play singles matches instead. While playing a doubles match, I must rely on my teammate. I have a tendency of not being able to compromise with my teammate while on the court; I either always allow her to hit the ball to the opponent or I shamefully become a ball hog and unconscientiously do not allow my teammate to have any contact with the ball. I have tried to understand why I subconsciously do this, but I have failed to find a reasonable answer.

My independence has forced me to reflect upon my characteristics on more than one occasion. I sometimes wonder if my excessive independence is a blindfold covering a part of me that I do not wish to see. I have noticed that over the years, I have had a difficult time allowing people to get emotionally close to me. A part of me wants to learn who I am, but another part, the more dominant part of me, is afraid to figure out who I am. This is because once I completely understand who I am then I have to live with the fact that I may not be perfect, or that I may be weird or not quite understood. I may be fooling myself, in the sense that my independence might be derived from my fear of becoming close to others, however I choose see my independence as “sour-sweet.”

Throughout my life, I have been put into situations that have forced me to become more and more independent, to become my own person. Whether it is through a sport or a friend, people and activities I have associated with have helped shape my independence. My independence is my freedom. Independence is my power from within. It gives me the reassurance that I will make something of my life. Independence offers me the freedom to be who ever I want to be, to do as I want, and to make my own decisions.