Monday, July 02, 2007


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.


Johnny Yen said...

#3 is Rocky Racoon, by the Beatles, on the White Album. #5 is Amazing Journey by the Who from Tommy. Those were two of my favorite albums when I was in high school in the late seventies!

Mom said...

Kudos to Johnny for beating me to #3 and #5. #4 is House Burning Down, by Jimi Hendrix, off of Electric Ladyland. Johnny, if you aren't already a Hendrix fan from the days of your youth, check this one out!

Love the post. Wish I could make it into the Cool Club. (I feel like maybe I ought to know those other two songs, but I don't quite...)

ShadowFalcon said...

I think its different for different people but to me its being able to ask people for help when I need it but get on with stuff on my own

tegdirb92 said...

what a great post--Happy MM and have a wonderful week.

janeylynne said...

#2 is Offspring-Come Out and Play.

Great post, Natalie....

Travis said...

Excellent post, showing the various stages of developing independence.

Happy MM!

Mrs. Loquacious said...

I think they should call it Interdependence Day. Maybe this is why I am Canadian...I would probably get lynched in the States for such blatant sacrilege.

Natalie said...

Johnny- That's funny those were two of my favorite albums when I was in HS in the mid 90s.

Mom- It's ok, you are already cool enough for me.

Shadow- I think that is a good way of looking at it. I think it's totally fine to ask for help when you need it and certainly a sign on maturity to know when help is a good thing.

Tegdirb92- Happy MM to you as well. It was an interesting topic to read about.

Janeylynne- I was a little ashamed when that came on but the rule is no skipping so I had to roll with it.

Travis- Thanks, it is a far reaching subject.

Mrs. L- I would be fine with that. Then again, I've never been the most patriotic.

Katrina said...

Great post. I love knowing I can do it on my own but I also love knowing I can call my mom when I feel I could use that little extra help. I just did that last night and we talked for a good 20 minutes about what I should or shouldn't do.

At the end she said it sounded like I had already figured it out on my own even before calling her but she appreciated me asking her opinion.

#1 sounds really familiar but I can't quite place it. It's making me think of Green Day though. Am I on the right track? I don't want to cheat and look it up.

it's the little things... said...

Your writing flows so well, and is easy to read.
"Large and in-charge"...hehehe.

Mood Indigo said...

I've been thinking about indepdendence lately. I think sometimes our desire (and lets face it, the external pressure) to be independent keep us from asking help when we need it (as you illustrated!). I'm still working on that, though in many ways I've been as independent as can be for the past 9 years. You've got me thinking....

Johnny Yen said...

Mom- I used to listen to that album every day of my life when I was 18 (1979), and now my 13 year old son loves that album and all other Hendrix. I missed it because the ravages of old age are wearing at the memory.

If you've ever seen the movie "Withnail and I," two Hendrix songs (one from Electric Ladyland) are put to good use-- Hendrix' Dylan cover, "All Along the Watchtower" and "Voodoo Chile (Slight Return). The movie is sent in December 1969, in London. It's one of my favorites.

And Mom, you raised Natalie very well (as if you haven't figured that out already). Her musical taste is excellent.

Mom said...

Hey, Johnny - Thanks for the movie recommendation and the compliment! And glad to hear you're a Hendrix fan too. I enjoy Natalie's musical taste and have always been glad that my daughters enjoyed the music their dad and I like. The only big musical disagreement Natalie and I have ever had was over Cypress Hill (smile).

And Natalie, thanks for the "coolness" endorsement. (Of course I consider you to be way-super-cool. But I know it's not-quite-so-cool to say "my mom says I'm cool," so I'll keep it to myself...)

Pawlie Kokonuts said...

Mondays are too manic for me lately. I like the White Album too.

Natalie said...

Katrina- You are on the right track. Sometimes you need to bounce things off the Mom, even if you know you are right. They are important.

Little Things- I write much like I talk. Sometimes I think it detracts something from my writing as I think back to all the loquacious papers I used to pen. College me would be disgraced. It's nice to know it's appreciated.

Mood- You seem like such an independent person to me. It's good to know that we all have issues with it. I know I do sometimes.

Johnny Yen- U heart Withnail and I

Mom- You failed at keeping it to yourself. Minus three cool points for you.

Pawlie- You can't get much better than the White Album. Sometimes i try to find something that is so constantly great for all moods and I generally fail.

CS said...

Loved this post. Independence of the "I need no one" variety is much over-rated. Independence of the "I can basically rely on myself but thank God for the people who love me" sort is definitely the better pah.