My first memory of feeling truly independent came courtesy of a bicycle. I was sent out to pick up some lunch while hanging out at my dad's office for the day (i.e.- get out of his hair so he could get some work done...). I was probably 10, and while I was cruising the mean streets (or, sidewalks) of Pinardville, NH it occurred to me that 'I don't need anybody to go get lunch'. I DON'T NEED ANYBODY! I'M GETTING MY OWN LUNCH! I CAN GO ANYWHERE! A very cool realization to have. I rode my bike a bunch as a kid, mostly for fun, but when I lived close enough I'd ride it to school. There was always something extra awesome about biking with a purpose- getting lunch, going to school or the post office- it made me aware of my status as an independent human being exercising her freewill (or at least as much freewill as you can exercise as a kid).
So fast forward to last weekend. I had a few bike parts to bring from home to the shop, and a quick stop at the farmer's market. As I was carting parts and groceries on my bike I thought I DON'T NEED ANYBODY! I'M RIDING MY BIKE TO WORK! I CAN GO ANYWHERE! I'm legitimately an adult so, I really can go anywhere. I even have a motor vehicle that I could drive to work or the farmer's market or any number of places. But I never feel like an independent human being when I do that- I just feel like an adult running errands.