Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Illusion of Independence

The illusion of independence.

A couple of hours ago I chatted with a friend and talked about things like relationships, commitment, marriage and children. At some point she asked me why I still didn’t want to commit to a relationship.

The illusion of independence I replied not really sure what I meant. I had never thought about it before it just slipped into my head and I said it. Then I started to think about it.

Imagine a girl or a young lady like me who is not in any sort of permanent romantic relationship. Any ones I have had in the past have never lasted longer than the time it took me to get bored, tired or just inconvenienced enough to push them away. But that’s not every girl, that’s just me and I do have commitment issues.

At the heart of my commitment issues lie my fears. Those fears largely consist of what I would have to give up in order to become part of a real relationship. If asked what I think I would have to give up my first answer would probably be my freedom. My freedom to think, feel and do what I want, My freedom to make or not to make decisions, be as hardworking or indolent as I see fit, to be and do as I want with no input from anyone else.

But that’s all mental isn’t it? As much as being in a relationship would mean that I have to think about another person before taking any real actions, to what degree would it really affect my freedom in the above respects. A small degree only I am sure.

I would lose the freedom of my future. That’s another fear. The most pressing one for me, I think. The traveling I want to do, the places I want to go, books I have to write, experiences I have to have. How can I do those when I have to live within the confines of someone else’s expectations, desires and needs.  The joke is that in my present freedom I am not living this future, I am not traveling, writing books, or experiencing much. Trapped in my present life this future that demands this freedom is as nebulous a concept as it would be were I ’trapped’ in a relationship. 

What I mean is this ‘There is no freedom of the future, there is only a freedom of now’. If I were flying as I want to right now then I would have a right to demand a relationship that lets me fly. Stationary, I have no such right, neither do I have a right to ignore the relationships of a stationary nature around me in the fear that once in them I would not at some vague future date be able to fly.

Finally my independence, the ability to make decisions about my life based solely on my needs and desires. To go when I want and come when I want without having to deal with the needs emotional or otherwise of someone else. Being unfettered by the bonds of responsibility for somebody else either physically or emotionally. That is what I treasure, the fact that when I want, I will be left alone.

But in reality there is nothing like this. There is no independence. Everybody has to give something and everybody does. At work maybe, to the community, in school, at some time or point something else or someone else determines what you will do with your time. You can come and go as you please but doesn’t a lot depend on who you are coming to see and where you are going? Only the hermit perhaps may be truly independent.

We cannot be truly independent, we all just have relationships with different aspects of life.  For some lucky ones there is the ability to have relationships with many aspects and balance them all.

There is no independence. There is only an illusion. The illusion of independence.  It precedes a grim reality. The reality of solitude.


  1. "...hours ago...",lol that's by the way anyway, so what's your decision now? would we be having an allusion (at least) any time soon, or the illusion would persist? :)

  2. the reality seems to be solitude- wow...

  3. What an amazing conclusion. There really is no independence, is there?

    For me, this rings true 'That is what I treasure, the fact that when I want, I will be left alone.'