We Are Untethered

What happened to the ties that bound us?

Kerala Taylor
6 min readFeb 28, 2023

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It sounds dreamy, in a way, to be untethered. To roam at will, answering to no one, doing what I damn please.

At this stage in my life, I am rarely untethered — that is, in the liberating sense of the word. I have children and a partner. I roam with pattering feet in tow, answering to everyone, doing what I need to do to get through another day.

Becoming a parent is, in fact, a process of tethering, of binding us to other people’s incessant demands, to a perennially overflowing pool of needs that are not our own.

I find it both comforting and overwhelming. Comforting because there are always people bearing witness to my life, even if they aren’t always paying close attention. Comforting because there is always someone to hug, always someone to snuggle up with on the couch. Comforting because human beings like to feel needed. I would venture to say we even need to feel needed.

Overwhelming because outside of our small unit, there is a void. Our parents and siblings live in other states. Our neighbors and coworkers keep vague tabs on our lives. Parents of our children’s friends only occasionally invite them to playdates and parties. And our friends? The few we have make only occasional appearances, too.

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Kerala Taylor

Award-winning writer. Interrupting notions of what it means to be a mother, woman, worker, and wife. Subscribe: https://keralataylor.substack.com