My Declaration of Independence

By
I have always been dependent on others. Always. Whether it has been family or friends, I’ve always been dependent on someone. I managed to believe that I could not go day to day without whomever but the results of Hurricane Katrina changed my codependency on other people drastically.

The alarm on my phone buzzed louder and louder with each second that it bellowed in my ear. I pulled the mound of blankets over my head as if to hide from the reality of the day ahead of me, the reality that I so desperately would have done anything in this world to avoid.
“Get up. It’s your first day. Y’all can’t be late.”
My mother received a loud groan for her wake-up call as she backed away from the squeaking door. I swung my feet onto the plush carpet and ever so slowly dragged myself out of the bed that did not belong to me. Nothing belonged to me here—just the collection of duffle bags and tote bags that were strewn with clothes in the corner. As I dug through the heap of clothes, I rested my hands on the recently purchased uniform that labeled me a Blessed Trinity Titan. As I regretfully slipped one leg after the other into the skirt and yanked the green sweater over my unruly head of hair, I glared at the reflection in the mirror that stressfully stared back at the confusion that happened to be me. This is not me. This is not my uniform. This is not where I belong. I backed away from the mirror and found myself sitting on the edge of the bed. I could feel the burning sensation behind my eyes that was somewhat strange to me—I do not cry. Ever. As my chest started heaving uncontrollably, the tears that felt so strange to me silently rolled down my cheeks, quickly becoming a comfort when things would be too hard to handle.
“Excited for your first day?”
I glare.
“It’s a beautiful school. And you’re not the only person from home there. You have your brother and there may even be someone you know there.”
Another glare.

I knew my mother was just trying to help. She knew I had major anxiety and that this was an especially stressful situation. She also knew I had never been separated from people that I knew—today I would be completely alone with no one to rely on considering my brother had a friend with him and plus, he was three years older—a senior, compared to me, a mere freshman. This was going to be rough. I knew it. Suck it up, Em, there is nothing you can do about it now.

Amongst the sea of finely engineered BMW’s, Mercedes’, and other high-end, expensive cars stood our five-year-old Chevrolet Blazer of which my brother was surprisingly proud. The car alone labeled us refugee students. My heart started pounding as I opened up the door in embarrassment and gently placed my feet on the black asphalt parking lot that might have been the cleanest parking lot I had ever set eyes on. A clean, pristine parking lot to match a clean, pristine school that was attended by clean, pristine students. With each step that I took approaching the two enormous double doors, I could feel my heart pounding so fast that I thought it might burst from my chest and land on the pavement in any given moment. I begged God to make me pass out or strike an illness upon me—anything to not face the jungle of confusion and strange faces that swarmed all around me. As I walked down what felt like a runway where all eyes were on me, I hurriedly yanked my head around to find my brother in the jungle of over-privileged teenagers, but he had already dissolved into the masses. I nervously glanced in every direction but quickly found myself alone in the hall as the students dispersed at the echo of the bell.

Thoughts of leaving raced through my mind. Okay, so you leave—where do you go? You don’t even know where you are. Dumb idea.

I paced myself as I tiptoed down the echoing hall to the door that was labeled 302. As I approached this door, I felt like the touch of that silver door handle would be the end-all be-all of my life, as I knew it. I had never done anything or gone anywhere where I had felt so alone and isolated as I did in that one moment, setting my eyes on that door that contained the dreaded first period. The second that I gently rested my hand on the handle, thoughts of independence jumbled up in my brain and I knew that, in life, there would be millions of things that I would have to unwillingly do alone. I slowly pulled the handle down to open the door as I realized that I had the potential to do many things on my own as long as I threw codependency away and replaced it with ideas of independence.





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MilesLowdotCom said...
Mar. 4, 2010 at 1:52 pm
i admire writing like this
 
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