What does Independence Day mean to you?

In the United States the 4th of July is a national Holiday that invokes images of red, white, and blue, stars and stripes, and even majestic explosions in the sky. For me, this is one of my favorite Holidays, and to be honest one of the few I actually celebrate. However, I must also admit, I wouldn't actually consider myself that patriotic. I feel very thankful to live in the U.S. and understand that a lot of the freedoms and luxuries that exist here in this country are not anything to be taken lightly; although, I do enjoy attaching my own personal meaning to the things that I openly celebrate, and Independence Day for me has a clear purpose as to why it is one of my favorite holiday celebrations. 

I feel like the idea of Independence is a key integral part of the overall concept and message of transRelic. The title song for the upcoming release titled, "Splinters" delves into one facet of this concept. When I celebrate independence on July 4th, I really tend to celebrate the idea of personal independence. This personal perspective of independence has served as a lot of strength in my life and a lot of inspiration musically. There are a few key elements of personal independence that I believe fall under the scope of transRelic's message: independence of belief systems, independence of life direction, and independence from one's own personal restraints and attitudes about yourself. 

I was raised in a very Christian family, and although there are many areas in which I feel my upbringing was very beneficial, there are other areas that I do not share the same attitude anymore. I want to be clear in stating that I am not opposed to Christianity or any other religion as long as a person's beliefs are "a deep, personal, fundamentally held belief." In the same breath, I would like to state that a belief of that sort must be questioned to remain a deeply held conviction! transRelic has been a guide for me in many ways in my life; one of those ways is that I had to find my own truth and my own beliefs and test them against my own concept of the world, as well as my misconceptions of the world. People as a whole are always trying to tell you what to believe and what is true, in their perspective. This caused a great deal of strain for me as I was growing up because my view often painted me in a corner as being wrong. This dogmatic approach caused me to feel alienated by my family and friends. One day I decided to find what I believed. That day a different picture opened up to me, and that picture was beautiful and full of possibilities.

I had found direction; transRelic was my direction. I had things that I wanted to say to the world, a statement of that direction. With direction often comes opposition. With my ideas and my new path in place I set out to show the world my ideas.Once again, I was met with the idea that I was wrong. I felt like my thought process was wrong, my music was wrong, my view of the world was wrong. It wasn't until a near tragic situation occurred that I decided... maybe I wasn't wrong. 

It was long after my "somehow" escape from my self-proclaimed death that I found the third piece of why independence day means what it does to me. I learned that one must find independence from one's own restraints. This is something that I still battle with; however, my mental issues and suicidal tendencies had become a prison. I had to find a way, any way, my way, to get past even the stigmas I had put on myself. In that effort, I am forever a student, although, I have made leaps and bounds of progress.

To me, independence day is a representation of independence from oppression, from ridicule, from misunderstanding. I have seen that everyone has their battles with oppression and independence in different contexts in their lives, be it sexual orientation, career choices, or even whether or not to show up to church on Sunday. I think July 4th is a good day to celebrate independence, and much like the USA and our founding fathers, the discovery of ourselves, and what we call freedom. What does independence mean to you? Comment below.

 

Together We Are Never Alone,

Stark Morrison of transRelic 

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