Declaration of My Independence

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When I was with my boyfriend who turned out to be not very nice, I didn’t make many decisions. Oh, he said he wanted me to make decisions, but the choices I made more often than not turned out to be the wrong ones. It was just less complicated to go along with whatever he wanted.

When I left him, I suddenly was able to decide for myself. No one tried to influence my decisions. No one tried to subtly (or not so subtly) manipulate me. No one told me I was wrong.

When I hit the road with the traveling kids (Mr. Carolina, Sweet L, the Fighting Couple), I was typically happy to do whatever the rest of the group wanted to do. No one was proposing anything I was opposed to, so it was easy to agree. Mr. Carolina, however, always made sure to ask in his Southern drawl, What do you want to do, Blaize? I could tell he truly wanted to know, too. He was honestly interested in what I thought. He really wanted to make sure I had a say in what happened next. He really wanted me to get my needs met.

Sometimes I’d assure him I was happy to go along with whatever proposition was on the table. Sometimes I shared what I thought was a better idea. Always, his question gave me permission to stop and really think about what I wanted to do. His question allowed me to decide if I really wanted to go along with what everyone else wanted. His question kept me from agreeing to do something simply because that’s what all the cool kids were doing.

Having someone ask me what I wanted and taking my response into account was a heady new experience. At some point, in response to Mr. Carolina’s question, What do you want to do, Blaize? the answer that popped out of my mouth was Whatever the fuck I want! It was sort of a joke, but it was also a declaration of my independence.

After I said it the first time, I said it more and more. We’d be doing something–puttering down the interstate in the van, cooking breakfast, lying in the dark waiting to fall asleep–and randomly I would say, Hey, Mr. Carolina, you know what I’m doing right now?

He’d always ask, What? even after I’d asked the question so many times we both knew what was coming next.

What? he’d ask, and I would answer Whatever the fuck I want!

I felt then–and still feel today–blessed–not to mention liberated–to know that most minutes of most hours of most day, I’m doing just what I want to do.

 

About Blaize Sun

My name is Blaize Sun. Maybe that's the name my family gave me; maybe it's not. In any case, that's the name I'm using here and now. I've been a rubber tramp for nearly a decade.I like to see places I've never seen before, and I like to visit the places I love again and again. For most of my years on the road, my primary residence was my van. For almost half of the time I was a van dweller, I was going it alone. Now my (male) partner and I (a woman) have a travel trailer we can pull with our truck. We have a little piece of property, and when we're not traveling, we park our little camper there. I was a work camper in a remote National Forest recreation area on a mountain for four seasons. I was a camp host and parking lot attendant for two seasons and wrote a book about my experiences called Confessions of a Work Camper: Tales from the Woods. During the last two seasons as a work camper on that mountain, I was a clerk in a campground store. I'm also a house and pet sitter, and I pick up odd jobs when I can. I'm primarily a writer, but I also create beautiful little collages; hand make hemp jewelry and warm, colorful winter hats; and use my creative and artistic skills to decorate my life and brighten the lives of others. My goal (for my writing and my life) is to be real. I don't like fake, and I don't want to share fake. I want to share my authentic thoughts and feelings. I want to give others space and permission to share their authentic selves. Sometimes I think the best way to support others is to leave them alone and allow them to be. I am more than just a rubber tramp artist. I'm fat. I'm funny. I'm flawed. I try to be kind. I'm often grouchy. I am awed by the stars in the dark desert night. I hope my writing moves people. If my writing makes someone laugh or cry or feel angry or happy or troubled or comforted, I have done my job. If my writing makes someone think and question and try a little harder, I've done my job. If my writing opens a door for someone, changes a life, I have done my job well. I hope you enjoy my blog posts, my word and pictures, the work I've done to express myself in a way others will understand. I hope you appreciate the time and energy I put into each post. I hope you will click the like button each time you like what you have read. I hope you will share posts with the people in your life. I hope you'll leave a comment and share your authentic self with me and this blog's other readers. Thank you for reading.  A writer without readers is very sad indeed.

5 Responses »

  1. The very best part of it was a) you actually thought about it, and b) you did something about the situation. And from the sound of it, you’re one of the few women who isn’t likely to get into the same situation again. CONGRATULATIONS!!!

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