Independence.

Every year, on July 4, people in the United States of America celebrate Independence Day.

Every year, on July 4, fireworks erupt across the country and people have barbecues and eat hot dogs and celebrate living in a country where they have freedom and liberty and opportunity.

Independence doesn’t come easy to any country.

Independence is usually a result of warfare and discord and conflict. Independence often results in people getting hurt, lives and property being destroyed, memories being shattered, and a slow process of rebuilding. After independence, a country has to accept that things will be a little hard, but eventually they will build and grow and become stronger and free and start a new chapter in their existence.

I got my independence, today.

Today, I received an email that devastated me, that destroyed me, that shattered me. Over the past five months, I have been caught in a struggle that was borne of discord and conflict, a struggle that has crippled me and that has made it hard to live normally. Today, I got an email that shook me, that pierced me, that was meant to hurt and maim and destroy.

That email gave me my independence. It made me realize that the past was over, and holding on to it was a futile exercise.

Over the next few months and years, I will rebuild. Things are a little hard, and I still have many moments every day where I feel like I just can’t go on anymore, but I will build and grow and become stronger and free and start a new chapter in my life. Today is the first day.

Happy Independence Day.