Finding My Independence: How It Evolved and Why It’s SO Important

Lately, I’ve been thinking about the importance of independence. But I also think, is there such a thing as being too independent?

Why Did I Study Abroad?

Before the car accident, I solely wanted to study abroad so I can find my independence away from my family and friends. This included learning more about myself and what future goals I would set. I was struggling with forming my own beliefs, and being okay to form my own beliefs while around loved ones – the ones who essentially raised me. The ones who bestowed their thoughts onto me.

In that short time in Australia before the car crash, I did find a lot about myself. To sum it up, I recognized that I was stronger than I thought in handling being alone with complete strangers all around me. I wasn’t afraid to ask questions or talk back. I wasn’t afraid to be totally free and have fun.

Independence: How It Evolved For Me - Living After Surviving

I gave myself permission to live the way I wanted and even make mistakes and grow from them. Because I knew this was what it took to become an independent person. Fearlessness is key.

But what I didn’t know was that I’d be in a traumatic car accident that’d change my life forever. Talk about a giant detour sign and a challenging path towards finding my independence. Obviously, a higher power had other plans for me than a more direct traditional route.

With that said, I adjusted and adapted during the aftermath of the accident. I was forced to relearn doing daily tasks. A lot of people questioned if I’d live independently again. Soon, I realized that the meaning of living an independent life was enhanced as if there was more at stake. This idea around independence became more powerful. I had to accomplish my original goal more than ever now.

Being Fearless Never Died

But continuing to be fearless never changed. And let’s just say I found what I was looking for except with something extra. I picked up where I left off prior to the accident, which was to gain independence and move to Los Angeles by myself to pursue my career goals.

Because of the something extra also known as the accident, that brought me a new normal, I needed to work harder at living that independent life. But this turned into learning a lot more than I bargained for, which certainly turned me into a new person for the better.

This is why I wouldn’t change a thing, honestly. I wouldn’t change the fact of being in a car accident because of the lessons I’ve learned from it. Lessons that I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t receive from anywhere else. The appreciation for life is the top lesson for sure. And the fact that life isn’t all butterflies and rainbows, and won’t go according to what you see on TV – bad things happen, along with major sharp turns.

Yet, I’m forever grateful to learn this in my 20s.

Prepared & Ready

I can’t stress enough how much I believe in finding your independence. As I get older, I am more prepared for what life throws my way. I’m not saying I’ll know how to handle it, but I’ll definitely welcome it with a tougher game face on.

Because to me, independence is not only strength, but also understanding yourself enough to know that you’re the only cheerleader you need to get through anything.

This comes down to self-love, which I believe is the foundation of a fruitful independent life. Of course, support from others is needed too, but learning to take care of yourself first, all of your goals and dreams included, should be priority.

Independence: How It Evolved For Me - Living After Surviving

In addition, being okay with being alone, and embracing it for what it truly is – a world of your own with so many opportunities.

How amazing does that sound? I know I love it!

So that’s what I saw after the accident – an unimaginable new version of myself in this unexpected new world of mine. It took a traumatic event and a long recovery to get me here, but this was the road chosen for me, and all I can continue to do is just relish in it.

But When Is It Too Much of Something?

Does living independently get to be overrated?

Sometimes I think I’m too independent, just with how I’m able to handle certain things on my own. Like how easy it is for me to let go and move on with situations or people without thinking twice about it. As if I’m not sensitive enough.

I still don’t have a solid answer to this as I’m still figuring it out, but all I know is that it’s important to remind myself to not be ashamed of my independence, the strength I’ve gained, and what it all means to me right now. Because right now, the meaning aligns with my current beliefs, goals, and growth.

And in another year or even in a decade, the meaning of independence could look and feel drastically different. Something I will gladly welcome.

xo, CHU

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