During this season of independence, I’m celebrating my full, untethered mental independence. For too long, I have granted (or have had taken from me) space in my mind to the minds of other humans. My mind has been a nation occupied by pillagers – its culture ravaged and ruined by the words, behavior, intentions, and dismissals of its oppressors, both individual and systemic. No longer will I be too much, too little, too loud, too quiet, too thick, too thin, too emotional, not emotional enough, too strong, too weak, too feminine, too masculine, outside social order, outside traditional roles, or with too arrogant a “big” vocabulary. The border has been secured, and only the approved visitors of spirituality, family, friendships rich in positivity, art, nature, and the pure things life will be granted entrance. Let freedom ring.