Friday, September 13, 2013

Self-Reliance


Samuel and I are up late tonight--he's finishing homework and I'm writing a manuscript about grumpy trucks.

A few minutes ago he asked me for help deciphering a short essay. It was Ralph Waldo Emerson's "Self-Reliance."

I hadn't read it since I was in grad school at Iowa 25 years ago. It resonated with me at the time because I was young and rebellious and trying to find my way in the world, and sometimes feeling like I was the only person on the planet who questioned the things that everyone else seemed to take for granted. The thing I dreaded most, at age 25, was a life of dull conformity.

Emerson made my adrenaline surge, made me want to scream at the world, "You're not the boss of me!" Emerson told me to be myself. I needed to hear that at 25. Everyone needs to hear that.

I am happy that Samuel and Ethan have strength of character. I want them to live their own lives and follow their own dreams. I will never tell them they should follow a different path than the one their hearts tell them to follow.

That is what I gleaned from Emerson. Happy to be reminded of it tonight, sitting on the sofa at midnight with my sweet boy, whom I love more than life itself.






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