Autonomy in all its glory

If I had to personally define autonomy (it’s the daily prompt, yes), I would say: ”that independence from anyone and anything as the one single thing I’ve strived for my whole life”. I’ve been too stubborn about it, like a blindfolded hurt buffalo thrusting my way through every relation I had, family, friends or love, it didn’t matter. All they had to know and what I wanted to feel was the eternal I don’t need anybody, any-F*-body, ok?. You can guess it all pretty much went wrong, except my precious family and a few friends who somehow saw through my walls to the core that they, God knows why, appreciated. I was lucky.

I’ve reached my autonomy quite closely in the past year, moving to a foreign country, going through the basic bureaucracy, finding the appartement and a job, the financial stability that followed and allowed me to take care of myself alone (which is still far more than most of my generation can say, unfortunately), and then starting to create life around it. All the while, hearing comments from people: ”You’re so brave, how can you do all of this on your own?!” and never really understanding their meaning. I mean… I was sort of used to it, you know? Ok, not to the bureaucracy and the stress of finding all those things that are self-evident back home, but in a way I was used to being on my own. It was tough and exhausting and so awful sometimes, but it didn’t bother me for real. I wanted to be on my own in this, that was the whole point of it, after all. (I do admit, though, I had the moral support from my family, even if miles away.)

But then, there came a certain point. A point when I became too tired to deal with anything. Often even too bored and sick of everything to force myself to go out alone – an unbelievably horrible point for someone who usually enjoys the most going to concerts, shows, museums, cinema or on trips when going alone. When more or less minor problems started, from losing my job to struggling in a certain relationship, I all of sudden heard myself saying ”I don’t want to do this on my own anymore and why would I have to? I’m tired of being alone in this.” It hit like a metal basketball right in the left side of my skull. I felt like I was losing a part of myself, I felt defeated even, and with every passing day more confused. Did I screw it up completely, or what?! Wasn’t this exactly what I wanted?!

The thing is, however, it never happens all of a sudden. That part of me who still felt the need to connect with people was always there, and I just suffocated it too stiffly by putting all the importance on my independence from them. I didn’t see how relying on someone, letting them help you or at least be by your side, has a whole spectrum of variations and always moving limits I can keep re-creating with them and in that way allow myself the autonomy and the interdependence at the same time. Like everything in life, it is not black and white and we should never make it that way.

I’m in the learning process now, I guess…

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