>Making sense of independence!

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It was indeed a fabulous 4th of July, thank you for asking. Although, this year it had much different meaning for me than years past.

I have never described myself as very patriotic (according to one of my MySpace tests I am only 18% American, so there you have it). For some reason in 2008 I was incredibly touched by what the 4th of July truly represents. It was the first time I really put it into the context of my life and I owe it all to Janell from Toni and Guy who gave me a wonderful scalp massage after my haircut, told me about her new husband and then said, "You know, this day is really your day...it's all about celebrating independence." Pure genius! I may have added yet another female crush to the list (sorry Chelsea)!

What does independence or being independent really mean? I have always described myself as independent - I enjoy spending time by myself, can entertain myself, and realize I have everything I need to live a fulfilled life, which is me. Freedom and independence doesn't mean nothing impacts more, or that others are obselete. To me it represents embracing hardships or rough times with freedom to choose. Having freedom in my souls allows me to use those difficulties to propel me forward on my path or stay static living from my past.

Yesterday, after a Slip and Slide/Golf Pro and Tennis Ho party (see picture above for the underwear and badminton portions of the evening) and a "bad"minton game, I took off for my favorite event - Memorial Park fireworks with my parents and friend Shannon. It was sheer perfection. Last night I listened to the symphony and marveled at each and every firework as a symbol of me getting to choose my life. Which is really the ultimate independence, isn't it? Choosing it the way it is and the way it isn't. Choosing what I feel and what I have. I have the freedom to make it whatever I want and then to choose it the way it is again, and again, and again. What an incredibly liberating feeling...that my friends, is true independence - living your life and accepting it exactly the way it is. Let freedom ring (apparently I am more American than previously thought)!

Today I'm grateful for my independence, my new cupcake recipe book from Lauren, and fireworks.