Happy Independence Day! I have always done fun trips back to when we would do the 4th at Lake Tapps every year to our family friends amazing lakeside home, it was such a blast! For the past years we have usually went to the woods or a friends neighborhood to celebrate. We don’t talk to any of those people since my TBI and I am pretty sure last year we were home in bed, the year before I had just got home from the hospital so same. It’s time to find new traditions for us, this year with Corona I’m not sure it will happen but soon. I haven’t had a set tradition since my first marriage, after Lake Tapps no longer was what we did, we always had great pool parties at our house. I definitely haven’t had a tradition in years, every year it’s a little different. I miss the traditions though and friends and family get togethers. I’m thinking next year we might start taking this time for ourselves and to travel internationally, something my husband and I both enjoy so much.
I wanted to make an Independence Day post, not to celebrate Independence like everyone else but to talk about how Independence has a whole new meaning for me. I am also learning this day is not celebrated by all and for some, our black community this day has more to it than my white girl brain understands but I asked a friend and many of these holidays we celebrate have a very different meaning to their race history over the years. I never realized or truly valued my independence like I do now. To not be in a hospital, to have the choice to make decisions for myself, to be able to independently shower and go to the bathroom, independently feed myself and to have so much independence like I do is amazing. Yes, I’m not totally independent. I can’t work enough to support myself, I can’t drive, I can’t just get up and go like I once did, but in the scheme of things I’m still pretty darn independent and my appreciation for the little things that once were not a big deal is huge and not taken for granted. I’m still stubborn in the independent way that I can do it and don’t ask for help, but I’m learning and getting better at accepting and asking for help. I am a very classic enneagram 7, look it up and read about what a 7 is (or follow along for a future post, an enneagram 7 blog post) like hello, there I am! Mind you it’s a little different now post TBI, I guess slowed down a bit but it’s definitely still me:)
I’m just so beyond thankful on this Independence Day to celebrate my own independence and show my gratitude to my husband, son, family and friends who truly have given me my independence through this brain injury so far, it’s been crucial for me and it is so appreciated to have that kind of love and support.
Thank you to all the people in my life who have given me my freedom and let me figure things out for myself (unless not totally safe). A big part of being independent is learning to do things on your own, how do I know until I try? Kind of like traveling, getting a job, riding the bus and max. How do I know what I can and cannot do without trying. I know it probably wasn’t easy to let me do all I have done, but I’m so grateful for the opportunity to try and see what I can and cannot do. I don’t believe in excuses and try hard to accomplish whatever I set my mind to.
The most special thing I have been given since that life changing day is the independence that my friends, family and doctors have given me. My independence to be an adult. I would not be where I am at today in my recovery if that didn’t happen and I am forever grateful for that.
Happy Independence Day, please be safe and coherent of others. For so many, this day can be triggering with all the fireworks 💥. Our pets too and our veterans and others with PTSD and trauma especially around sounds fireworks create, just be aware please.
And if you want to learn more and educate yourself on why this day does not represent independence to many read this by Ibram-x-Kendi.