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The Essence of Independence

Can you remember the feeling you had when you passed the drive test? I can. My eyes overflowed with happiness and sprinkled tears on my cheeks. At last I wouldn't have to be a 20-year-old who still had to ask her parents for rides to the store or the park or college--now I could drive anywhere without depending on someone!

You see, independence is special. It empowers us to move forward regardless of what is happening around us. It allows us to travel toward our destinies, picking up positive passengers along life's roads and letting the negative ones go at the next available stop.

Independence promotes dream-chasing and responsibility all at the same time. Opening my studio is a great example. Island Time began with an independent decision to begin a fitness business that caters to all ages and carries a tropical theme. I had a dream to help people reach their fitness goals the fun way, and I put it into action through classes and events. Responsibility came into play with paperwork and safety precautions. When we had carpet, we offered dance socks for safer dancing. When teaching my senior classes, I modified moves so that they wouldn't try to twist or turn too fast. The dream went hand-in-hand with responsibility...

And that dream still continues today and is a beautiful sight to see--much like our nation's dream to be independent of Great Britain. Although England is the motherland, there comes a time when it's healthy to detach from mama and spread those wings. Imagine if America had remained under the rule of England to this day. We wouldn't be the "land of the free and home of the brave," nor would our full identity as a nation be the same. America is commonly known as the greatest nation in the world, but that identity sparked with independence.

At what times in your life has having independence made a difference or helped you grow? I encourage you to contemplate this question as we celebrate this weekend. Happy Independence Day!

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