I’m still a little light headed as I leave the gym. Drained and covered and sweat, I push my way through the Miami sun and humidity and collect my backpack from the trunk of my car. After 20 minutes of cardio, I spent another 25 minutes with my personal trainer. He pushes me just a little bit harder each time. Some days, when I am feeling particularly cranky, I can’t believe I am paying someone to torture me like that. I know it’s good for me, though, so I keep going back.
After grabbing my back pack, I head to the Starbucks across the parking lot for an ice-cold refresher. I have some work to do, and I want to write at least one post today. Writing keeps me grounded and connected to my purpose. As I open a word document and type “Independence” at the top, I begin to wonder what that means to me.
Financial independence is that first thing that comes to mind. I have a deep desire to maintain financial solvency. Even when I was married. I needed to have a separate bank account, not only to pay for the things I needed, but for the things I wanted without petitioning a third party for the funds.
I also need a sense of independence with my work. That is why my current employment, and self-employment, works so well for me. As an adjunct English instructor at Miami Dade College, my Department Chair presents me with available classes that I can choose to accept or not. When I accept classes, they ever lasts more than 16 weeks, so I never feel trapped. I never feel bored. As a graduate writing consultant at the Center for Excellence in Writing at Florida International University, I am able to create a work schedule that best suites my needs at the beginning of each semester. Finally, as an independent writing coach and editor, I am able to choose my clients and my projects.
Even though these two things are very important to me, I think what is most important is having the independence to decide what is important to me, to be able to build a life based on the values I feel are important. Sometimes I forget that. I am empowered to choose, to define, and to implement. Sometimes I have to push myself a little bit harder, just like I do with my personal trainer, to manifest the reality I have envisioned for myself. Sometimes I get cranky because it feels like torture, but I know it’s good for me.
To keep myself on track, I have a mission statement. I periodically go back to it, read it, reflect on it. Independence means I am free to create the best me I possibly can:
My Personal Mission Statement
As I manifest my destiny, I weigh each decision against these guiding principles:
- As an artist, it is my duty to be fearless in my self-expression and to discover the ancient path of the feminine narrative.
- As a spiritual being, I take comfort in connecting with the universal whole.
- As an individual, it is my obligation to seek new opportunities to challenge my intellect and honor my body as a sanctified temple.
- As a mother, it is my sacred duty to cherish my daughter while facilitating her own self-discovery.
- As a member of society, it is my task to model the benefits of cooperative coexistence.
May you enjoy the celebration of your independence.