The Manic Monday topic for today is Independence. To check out the other Manic Monday participants go visit Mo.
When I think about independence I think about growing up. I think about setting out on your own and not needing the watchful hand of your parents as much as you once did. I think of being able to take care of yourself in a mature and healthy manner. Then I think about all the people who think they are independent and aren’t.
Many people would define independence as not having to rely on others. I think that is a little far-fetched. We all have to rely on some things other than ourselves to maintain a comfortable life in this world. Even the independently wealthy have to rely on their trusts and their stocks and the market to maintain their independence. To be 100% independent you would have to live on land you own, grow your own food, make cloth from your animals, and sew your own clothing. While that type of independence was once attainable, it just isn’t practical today.
I don’t think independence means only relying on yourself to make ends meet. That just isn’t the way our world is designed. Instead independence today has a lot to do with responsibility. It has a lot to do with “making it” and being well-organized. It doesn’t mean that you don’t ever need help. It just means that you can take care of yourself most of the time.
I remember many times when I thought I was independent but wasn’t. The most obvious example was my 18th birthday. I graduated from high school and turned 18 on the same day. I thought I was large and in charge. Despite the fact that I had been awake for 72 hours, my independent mind told me that I didn’t need a ride home after my all-night Sr. party. I was wrong and my car paid for it heavily. Then, when my parents and sister pulled away from my dorm I thought I had certainly arrived. I didn’t need anyone. Let’s ignore the fact that my housing, food, and education were being taken care of. Let’s ignore the fact that my grades Freshman year were less then ideal because I wasn’t forcing myself to focus as much as I should. I still thought I was in control. I did ok. But there were nights when I needed plenty of help.
Even after graduating and moving out on my own I don’t think I was truly independent. I needed a lot of help the first six months or so. I did ok. I eventually got a decent job and needed less and less help all the time. By the end of year one I could confidently say that I was independent. Looking back, I think I technically was. However, I wasn’t anywhere near where I am today.
I am now a master of balancing work and play. Maybe that is because as I have gotten older I don’t want to play as much as I used to. I like to think it is because I have grown up and know better. I am comfortable in knowing that, while my life might not be ideal it is still mine and that no one can change things for me. I have to do it myself. Sure, I know that if I fall on hard times people will be there to take care of me. I’ll always have my support network and I am more than grateful for that. I just like to know that it is relatively unlikely that I will need it. That, I think is the true meaning of independence.
Let’s guess that song!
1. Something’s on my mind/ It’s been for quite some time/ This time I’m on to you
2. Like the latest fashion/ Like a spreading disease/ Kids strappin’ on the way to the classroom/ Getting weapons with the greatest of ease. Come Out And Play, Smash, Offspring. Identified by Janeylynne
3. Now somewhere in the black mining hills of Dakota there lived a young boy named Rocky Racoon/ One day his woman ran off with another guy/ Hit young Rocky in the eye. Rocky Racoon, The White Album, The Beatles. Identified by Johnny Yen
4. Look at the sky turn a hellfire red/ Somebody’s house is burning/ Down down down down. House Burning Down, Electric Ladyland, Jimi Hendrix. Identified by Mom.
5. Deaf dumb and blind boy/ He’s in a quiet vibration land/ Strange as it seems his musical dreams/ Ain’t quite so bad. Amazing Journey, Tommy, The Who. Identified by Johnny Yen
It is quite possible someone could get this entire shuffle. If they do they are automatically admitted into the Cool Club.