Light up your quirky-sparklers! Today is Independence Day in the United States.
An emerging group called CLUE (the Communication League for Unmarried Equality) asked me and other bloggers who write about singledom to write about independence and interdependence on July 4. CLUE’s goal is to dispel the myths that single people are total loners and lonely. Of course not! In fact, NYU sociologist Eric Klinenberg writes in his book Going Solo that single people are more likely to volunteer, take art classes, and go to social events and public lectures than their married counterparts.
As the founder of the quirkyalone movement, I have always emphasized the importance of friendship, aka, significant others, plural. Quirkyalones don’t always have a one and only, but we highly value our friends.
How are you independent and interdependent?
Whether you are American or not, quirkyalone or quirkytogether, we’re all connected. We’re all independent and interdependent. It’s a beautiful helix of a paradox. Both are true.
I love independence. My values are all about freedom to be authentically who I am and to help others be authentically who they are so we can connect on that pure channel. To light up like a fourth of July sparkler.
Yet I recognize we are all interdependent. Human beings need others to help us thrive and to get us through tough spots like sickness or depression.
This July 4 we can celebrate our independence and our interdependence. (Dependence sounds like a bad word here, but it’s good to have people you can depend on. That’s a wonderful thing.)
Today on this July 4, I ask you to ask yourself, how are you independent and interdependent?
I asked myself that question and here’s what I came up with.
My most valuable, precious interdependence comes from my my quirkyfriends.
I live alone. I make most big decisions about my life independently. I would like to meet a quirkypartner when we collide–no forcing it–and also feel like I am enjoying life so much right now, as it is. Part of the reason that I feel so good right now is that I have friends who have supported me to be who I am and helped me to grow.
Friends who really get us help us to grow
My quirkyfriends are scattered over the world, in Belgium, Argentina, and the United States. These are friends who really get me. Whether I see these people in person or via Skype, they keep my independent spirit going. They understand my challenges and gifts and egg me on. I cheer them on to be their brightest too. Sometimes we challenge each other, and we tell each other the truth when it’s hard. We want the quirkylife for each other, and that can mean being single or being partnered (most of us do want a romantic partner), but we also understand that the single life is rich too.
You might not have quirkyfriends right now. That’s OK. There have been periods when I didn’t either.
Nurture your friendships
Realizing how important these connections are helps me to see it’s important to nurture them. Call each other and just chat for 5 minutes when you are waiting in line somewhere. Drop in on each other. Skype if you live a world away. Ask that new girl at work out for tea.
When we find this level of friendship, or potential friendship, we need to treat those connections as gold. Sometimes those connections are as special and valuable as a quirkyromantic partner. They are quirkylove.
So how are you independent and interdependent? Would love to hear your thoughts on the comments.
Thank you for this post, Sasha! Two of my dearest quirky friends (who are actually quirkytogether) moved two days ago. I’ve been very sad, and I needed this reminder that quirkyfriendships can sparkle from any distance.
Ah Jill, so true. It takes conscious effort but quirkyconnections can continue to nourish us from afar. And quirkyconnections are valuable so usually it’s worth it to put in the effort!
Sasha, 100% agreement. I used to let distance dictate how close I let myself get with friends. If they were moving away, I thought that was the end. But with my recent travels, I realized I can make those connections and grow them matter what comes. It’s all up to me to make the effort and then get the rewards. Thanks for the reminder.