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DID YOU HEAR? Independence Day Is in April!
all that you can in the classroom, and you learn all that you can outside the classroom. And that’s exactly what I did. I had my mom’s voice in the back of my head reminding me to get my homework done before going to a friend’s room and to make sure I kept myself fed, which helped me keep my educational and living priorities in mind. When it came to my personal endeavors, I found that while it gets exponentially more difficult to make new friends as an adult, I managed to make some great ones along the way. While I embarked on all of these experiences expecting to reach independence and freedom, it turns out the only time I’m truly free is when I’m running. While this is something I’ve done since middle school, only when I recently got back into it a few months ago did I realize the space and freedom it brings me. Now, I can’t go more than a couple days without it. All of this is just to say that if you have a teenager about to leave the house, or you are about to embark on a big life change yourself, just remember: “You don’t know what you don’t know until you find out that you don’t know it.” Be open to new experiences, let life happen, find what makes you feel free, and go from there!
This joke originated from what I believed was an absolute fact: that I would get a car on my 16th birthday and be able to go anywhere I wanted, all of which equated to true independence. While 15-year- old Kyle had to anxiously await his own Independence Day, 16-year-old Kyle will have reached autonomy, maturity, and adulthood … at least, that’s what I thought would happen. In the end, I didn’t get a car until a few months later, so, even with all the hype I’d built up leading to my birthday, not a lot changed for me that day. That’s when I learned the value of the old adage, “You don’t know what you don’t know until you find out that you don’t know it,” something I continue to remind myself. Thinking about my Fourth of July plans this year got me thinking that independence for individuals (rather than countries) can be a fickle concept. All those big “adult” moments — legal driving, graduations, moving, legal drinking, etc. — that are supposed to mark that special transition into maturity and independence, often pass by without any real noticeable change to our day-to-day routines. Even when I was 18 and moved into a college dorm, I was sure I’d finally reached that mythical “Independence Day.” While a lot certainly did change, I was still exactly the same person I was raised to be in all the years leading up to that moment. My parents always told me that when you go to school, you do two things: You learn
As everyone gathers together with their friends and family this Fourth of July to eat from the tastiest of barbecues and blast off the brightest of fireworks, what they are all really celebrating is our nation’s Independence Day. This momentous event occurred on the same day in 1776 when the 13 American Colonies claimed their independence from England, thus marking the birth of the United States we know and love today.
“While 15-year-old Kyle had to anxiously await his own Independence Day, 16-year- old Kyle will have reached autonomy, maturity, and adulthood…at least, that’s what I thought would happen.”
Independence Day actually has a hilarious history for my family. The moment I turned 15, I had a day-by-day countdown to my 16th birthday, an event I referred to as my own “Independence Day.” That entire year, I would pester my family with the same long running joke: “In 342 days, it’ll be Independence Day,” or “In 179 days, we can finally celebrate Independence Day.” Family and friends who hadn’t been made aware of the true hilarity of the joke responded with confusion. They’d ask, “Your birthday is in April. Why are you talking about Independence Day?”
–Kyle Matthews 1 (248) 543-0340www.janetdaviscleaners.com
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