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Are any of us really and truly independent people? Are we not all beholden to someone or something? Do we ever reach full autonomy, or will we spend our lives submitting to someone? I have wracked my brain thinking about this all day as I look at what powers my lifestyle and keeps me in the spot I am now. To lift a quote from The Simpsons, the answer is “Yes with an If, or No with a But.”

There are, of course, nomadic tribes and societies that function perfectly well without phones, the internet, or a federal government that wants you programmed to think correctly. But even then, they rely on trading goods and resources in order to continue a life outside what we consider the norm. So is it really independent? I guess if you want to break it down to the technicalities, the answer is no. But I think we don’t always have to hyperfocus on the technicalities, especially when some forms of dependence are staring us right in the face.

I often have fantasies of living off the grid, nestled on a beautiful mountainside or settled into a beachside cabana. These of course are no more than fantasies, as I can’t just up and leave what I’ve built here. I mean, I could, but it would be extremely difficult. So I sit. I pretend I’m independent when I know I’ve got many lifelines keeping me right where I’m at. But if there’s one thing I can feel confident in being independent, it’s my mind.

Some may not agree. Some may think I parrot talking points or let other people do my thinking for me. The truth is, no one has the power to make those kinds of declarations. You’re not in my head 24/7. Only I am. You see parts of what I say with what I choose to show to the internet. And frankly, with the increase in censorship and the thought that we may one day not get a chance to share, I’ve been kind of going for broke lately. Doesn’t matter. They’re not your thoughts. They’re mine. While we all may ask one another to reconsider a thought, at the end of the day, we’ve got what we’ve got. And that’s the one thing no one can take away from us.

2021 has proven to be one helluva year already and it’s only going to stretch on into the unknown. I don’t want to believe thoughtcrime to be a real thing, but I’m operating under the impression that anything is possible. And I’ve got to be careful about it. If we have the ability to create our own reality, my independent thoughts have the tendency to take me down some strange and unusual paths. It’s times like these I wish there was someone there I could depend on who knows me well enough to corral my crazy and let me know when it’s time to relax. But that person is not here yet. So my dependence needs to go elsewhere. My dependence on my independent mind. And if I can’t rely on my own mind, then what, if anything, would truly matter?

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