SS Independence

Inspired by Mir of and her post at There are times in my past that I insisted on a level of independence for which I was not fully prepared.  In retrospect, I am glad I did it that way (cue Sinatra “My Wayyyyyyyy”)  but I also wonder why I put myself through such turmoil.

It was no accident that the ship I sailed to America on was named the SS Independence.  Seriously, my parents chose sailing to New York from Spain when it was time to bring me to the States.  I was born on a Navy base in Spain and 3? 4? years later orders came for California and my parents headed back.  In contemplating my book (ahem, someday I’m going to write a book)  I have drafted only the first line:

I sailed to America on the SS Independence, and spent the next several decades trying to achieve just that.

At this rate of writing, I’ll never have to worry about book signing parties.

Anywho,  I remember times I was hard headed.  Trying to tie my shoes.  I recall the frustration!  Trying to read, another frustration.   I could count, so I had this little yellow record player and I counted words.  I had little books with  45s in the back – 45s are records, kind of like a CD before digital stuff.  So, I would put the record on, count the words read, lift the needle, and match the number to the word and memorize it.  What a nerd.  But, I taught myself to read!  At age 4!

That was a positive one.

I’ve had plenty of times of over dependence, too.  The training wheels episode for one.  I insisted upon having them (on my brilliant green bike with a banana seat and a long chrome poley thing on the back)

And, my dad knowing I didn’t need them, screwed them on so they didn’t even touch the ground.  He even weaned me off one at a time!  How ridiculous that bike looked with one training wheel all up high!

Another episode of extreme, and not too bright independence was going through my divorce.  I could have taken Katie to my parent’s and lived there while I finished college/worked etc., but noooooooooooooo, I had never lived on my own, so I found an affordable apartment.

A former frat house (it was so bad that even the lowest of frats wouldn’t use it) I got the best apartment in it. I can’t imagine how bad the others must have been, but in my bathroom, you could look through a hole in the floor to the basement.  Not mentioning the drug dealer lot next door… there were bugs.

I didn’t even know they were roaches!  My privileged upbringing prevented me from identifying such a creature.  But our kitty, Whiskers, proudly caught one and brought it to me ALIVE!  one night while I read some book for school on my bed!  EEEK.

Recently, I am much less independent.  As I write, my husband preps dinner, tidies up, and cares for the animals.  I lounge, relax and write.  I CAN still do it all.  I’m just glad I’ve reached the point where I am perfectly fine letting someone else take care of things.  I’m blissfully unaware of our debt, bills, bank accounts, investments and various other things.

But, I still have to do all the driving.

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