How Can I be More Independent? Taking One Step Forward.

How Can I be More Independent_1

I have written quite a few posts about losing/gaining/reclaiming/figuring out my independence. This is not a new trend for me – the first post I wrote about this was back in April of 2014! After reading that post, I realized something pretty crappy. I have regressed. A lot. 

In April 2014, I had been dating Jefferson (my husband) for just less than two months. I was 21, almost 22. And apparently, I was also “reclaiming my independence.” I was taking myself to terrifying doctor’s appointments – this was the time I was diagnosed with a (harmless) irregular heart rhythm.

I was driving to and from Jefferson’s house, which was an hour away from mine. I was going to university multiple days per week for summer school – another relatively long drive. I was doing a lot of things on my own. But now, I have lost all that. And I have re-developed an old fear – the fear of driving.

Two years ago, Jefferson got into a serious car accident. Our car was totalled. As we assessed the situation, we decided to go down to one vehicle. It made sense – I worked from home (and still do) and at the time, we were living in the parsonage of the church that Jefferson was working at. So neither of us ever needed to commute!

However, now we only have one car, I still work from home, but now Jefferson works half an hour away. So…when he’s not home, I never have the car. And when he is home, we typically just go out together. We also went through a period where we essentially had ZERO social life, so I didn’t ever really need to drive. Whenever we did anything, we did things together.

But now, we are in a much better place – in almost every aspect of life. And I want some of that independence back. I have not driven longer than a 5-minute drive away in probably over a year. I used to commute during horrible, terrifying rush hour multiple days a week and now I can barely drive to the grocery store. It. Sucks.

In some ways, my anxiety has improved a lot since 2014 – my emetophobia is more under control now than it ever has been before! But in other ways, I have seriously regressed. I have lost a lot of my independence and I know I rely WAY too much on Jefferson for a lot of things.

So, after having a long talk with my husband last night, and after a lot of kind encourage from him, I have decided to step WAY outside of my comfort zone.

In September, we are getting a puppy. I choose this specific breed (a German Shorthaired Pointer) because of their drive and intelligence. I plan on doing either/both agility or obedience with her.

Well, in order to get into the adult agility/obedience classes, you have to start ASAP when they are puppies. The obedience club I want to work with only offers a very limited number of classes. On Wednesdays. The same night that Jefferson runs youth group at our church. Literally, the only day of the week he is not free.

Now, of course, when I heard this, my heart sank.

“I guess I won’t be able to do it,” I said. “There is just no way.”

Except, there is a way – many ways. I could drop off Jefferson at our church and pick him up after youth. But that means a lot of driving for me – driving on the highway, driving half an hour away. It also means going to these classes, with a tiny new puppy, completely alone.

Alone. Something I haven’t been in a long time.

This would only be for 8 weeks – that’s how long the class is. And we have people Jefferson could carpool with sometimes, or he could take the bus, or I could even ask a friend to help out a week or two. It’s definitely doable.

And I know this probably seems like NOTHING. I know tons of people who commute and carpool way longer and more frequently than once a week on a weekday evening!

But it’s scary. And I’m hesitant. And I don’t know if I’m ready. I am so scared that part of my motivation behind this post is so that YOU guys can help keep me accountable! So I have the motivation to give you guys updates instead of hiding my fears away.

So I’m scared, but I’m going to do it anyway. This is what I wanted this new pup for – so I could finally get into the hobby I have dreamed of my entire life!

It seems silly to throw that away because I am too scared to drive ONCE a week for two months. Because I am too scared to go to an hour-long puppy training class alone.

So, I am going to sign up for the class this weekend. And I am going to start reclaiming my independence once again. Even though it’s scary. Even though it’s hard. How can I be more independent? By taking one step forward. And that’s what I’m going to do.



3 thoughts on “How Can I be More Independent? Taking One Step Forward.

  1. Good luck with this! Let us know how it goes.

    I’ve never learnt to drive. I had ‘reasons,’ but realised recently it was basically anxiety that was keeping me from doing it. I’m scared of being in an accident. I need to challenge that, but I haven’t had the courage yet. To be fair, I am somewhat absent-minded at times and I do wonder sometimes if it would actually be safe for me to drive.

    I also feel like I’ve gone backwards with my independence. I lived away from home for two years (admittedly living fairly near to my parents and going home for the Sabbath most weeks), but since I’ve been out of work, I’ve had to move back in with my parents. It’s only been a week or so, but already I’m finding it frustrating! I hope I can get a reasonable job soon and move out again, because thirty-five is too old to be living with my parents.

  2. Sometimes going out into the world is really hard. I relate. It’s easier to stay home, but the more I stay home, the more anxious I become over having to leave. Which is the long way of saying, be proud. You are doing something brave and amazing.

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