Independence Day has always been my favorite holiday. My most cherished memories of summer center around going down to South Street Seaport with my mother or one of my best friends in New York to watch the fireworks. Something about the multitude of colors streaking and blazing across a clear night sky, a symphony blasting, the crowd buzzing as our heads lifted to catch the most beautiful spectacle of them all.
I fell in love with it because I am a patriot, but more because of what it symbolizes. The freedom to be happy. The freedom to choose your story.
Every other major celebration in our culture is about couples and families. But the Fourth of July seems to celebrate the individual in us all, and what we each choose to do with that.
Even though freedom isn’t free, it’s still glorious, full of potential – a lovely, seductive notion in a world that asks all of us to be more like everyone else, to fall in line and to trade our independence for the safety of belonging.
I started thinking about this when I read this Thought Catalog post, The Single Person’s Declaration of Independence
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that we’ve put ourselves out there on OkCupid and in bars; that 50 First Dates isn’t just the title of some godawful romcom (JK love it), but something we’ve actually attempted in the pursuit of happiness; that we have been subjected to unanswered text messages, and insane exes, and people who pen really great online dating profiles but turn out to be mute or to hate their mothers in unnatural, character-defining ways; and whenever we’re faced with the prospect of settling down with someone we despise to fulfill the long established expectation that we’re young and attractive but not young and attractive forever so could all you single people get it together and quit sleeping around? — it is our right, our duty, to be like… yo, have you seen the divorce rate lately? I mean, we’re trying our hardest out here to find someone we like enough to introduce to our friends, really we are, this doesn’t make us bad people but rather it makes us discerning people who just haven’t found their ‘missing piece’ yet, to quote Shel Silverstein, — And via this document, we come together to explain our non-relationship status and how like, being single is not akin to being misguided or damaged or some nefarious Hitler-type character. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.
We were, at some point, in unhealthy relationships that we ended in hopes for a better tomorrow — one in which our friends and families do not gossip endlessly about how toxic our relationship is.
We are not sure what we want and are harmlessly trying to figure that out by taking a few cars for a test-drive rather than like, committing to driving a hand-me-down lemon just because it’s available and basically free.
Read the rest of it. It’s really great. I want to write my own, but I haven’t made time to do it yet. And yet, in some ways, this blog is really just one big declaration of my independence, and that of the readers who enjoy it. So I hope that you enjoy your Fourth of July, that you get some good food and some better company (even if you’ll be spending it alone), that you consider those who literally fight for our freedom and salute those who do it both literally and figuratively.