Miss Independent

Trendy Hipster Girl Relaxing on the GrassShane said to me, more than once, “You’re just so damn independent.” I think he mostly meant it as a compliment, but he always said it with the slightest tone of frustration and maybe wistfulness.

In hindsight, it makes me laugh. I was 15 years old. I was, like, barely weaned. I depended on everybody for everything: food, transportation, money, a roof over my head. Everything.

But I knew what he meant. He meant I didn’t need him. And it was true. I didn’t, really. My life went on no matter if he was in it or not. The absence of him did not thwart my activities in any meaningful way.

That’s not to say I didn’t love him. I did, and I loved our relationship, but it wasn’t the sort of thing that I clung to as a lifeline. I wasn’t into that.

I’ve had relationships in which I was definitely not independent. I depended heavily on a person’s opinion of me to form my opinion of myself. I depended on him to make me feel loved and desired. I depended on him, unfairly, to be everything to me– lover, best friend, editor, mentor.

But not with Shane. With Shane I got to be me for myself, and enjoy him for himself without internalizing pieces of him that weren’t meant to be me. And maybe that’s not as dramatic as melding yourself with the one you love, and becoming one heart or some shit like that, but I think it’s probably healthier in the long run.

So, yeah, maybe there was a little disappointment behind the sentiment for Shane, but I’ll forever and always hear those words as a compliment, and strive to be the kind of person who deserves to hear them.

Why are you so damn independent?
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