The fall into dependence is a sneaky one. You roll off the fluffy clouds and splash through rainbows and other fairytale shit. It takes you unknowingly and cradles you into a small addiction. An addiction you may not even know you have. To see the silver lining here, this could also be related to the learning of true gratitude. Anyways, then the clouds burn off, and you bounce off trees and hit the ground heart first into the road of independence. Independence always seems to have that rip of a bandaid feeling. You don’t want to rip all your arm hair out, you would really rather keep it in place until it gets sticky and dirty, but it needs air. You need to let it breathe and heal fully! Sometimes the rip gives you that “hurt so good” tingle, and other times your arm is red for hours and you shed one small tear for the loss of innocent arm hairs. Next move – do you replace the bandaid or expose it to all other elements? Depends on the cut, I guess.
I’ve been bumming off the ever so lovely Jobey, and became quite dependent on her company during this European escapade. Thus, when I left for Portugal on my own, I panicked a little when she finally and literally left me standing alone at the bus stop. It’s not like I’ve never travelled solo before, the large majority of my travels have been solo. But as soon as we said our goodbyes, I felt my cortisol and awareness rise within my body, and I was once again by myself. A mix of “holy snot bags here we go” and the comfort of being responsible for only myself settled in as I made my way to the bus station.
I had become dependent on Jobey to pick up where I lacked in travel expertise, and the comfort of her company. The thing is, I didn’t even recognize this dependence until it was broken. Throughout this trip I’ve been trying to be more conscious of other things I depend on in my life and why. How did they become and how can I become more independent if they are holding me back?
Another dependence I have in my life: a little hand held device called the cell phone. I’m not sure about everyone else, but I have a bizarre relationship with my phone. I love it enough to, sadly, sleep with it, but for it to disappear would, and has been, ok with me. To have the screen shatter and not replace it for over a year, but not be able to separate from it if it’s within reach. Let’s just say, it’s complicated.
Thus the third lesson from Portugal: become more aware of falling into dependence on other things or people not worth your attention and love. Think of the things or people you depend on – what things/people would create chaos and pain in your life if lost (the true and needy dependencies)? Now answer these questions: can you rely on them or are they shifty? Are they supportive and promote self growth, or do they hinder you from reaching that next level? Do they make memories worthy of your cranial space?
I’m not saying all dependence is bad. My dependence on Jobey was totally fine! And the break really showed me how grateful I am to have her in my life. I will just be more conscious of it next time, so the pull of the bandaid won’t be as unexpected. 😉
I think you know what you need to do about your personal dependencies. Now here’s the hard part: will you do what you know you need to? It takes guts to choose need over want. But trust me, it’s so so so worth the struggle to choose what you need.
All my heart,
*Example A: Jobey wants to wear no pants, but needs to follow societal rules.