The Two Sides of Independence

The title obviously means that you’re about to read something that is an opinion right? Well, it’s definitely not one that I would consider strong or offensive to others, but it is one that I think should be discussed.

As, the title says, it had come to my attention that people may want to know: what does it mean to be independent? My personal opinion on this cannot be described with something other than something that has two sides to it.

I hope I’m using this phrase correctly for this post! Anyway, from how I see it, being independent is about being able to take care of yourself and be able to do household chores without others to do them for you. It can also mean you are able to go out on your own and get to where to you need (or in some cases, want) to go. 
I find that some people; I’m not going to say who, tend to only focus on one side of the coin of independence, no matter which one it is. But, maybe I’m guilty of that too sometimes. 
I do consider myself being a highly independent person. If you were to look at who does most of the chores in the house, other than my parents, it’s me. If I need to go out and do something like replenish my supply of a beauty product I use, I don’t wait for someone to drive me there, I walk over to the drugstore and buy it. Hell, I’ve walked or taken the bus great distances in this town to get things done, or to meet up with friends.
I once told my mom that I didn’t feel independent enough because I wasn’t working or driving a car yet. But then she told me I was wrong about that. She said to me I already am a very independent woman: I was able to do the daily/weekly tasks of managing a household on my own such as the dishes, laundry, checking our food inventory, etc. I was also able to get around town efficiently without having to be driven. That was independence to her, and that’s what it is to me.
On those days where I’m not out and about doing things in my professional life, I will be at home taking care of the household, like your typical woman. I’ll do the dishes, clean the cat litter box, water the newly planted maple tree, etc. 
This mug could just describe my potential
If I am to live independently one day, that is where this side of independence comes into play. Nobody’s going to be around to tell you to clean the house or do your laundry. So, you learn how to do it yourself while you still live with your folks. It’s not rocket science.
So, what about the other side? You want to be able to get out and about to do things, whether you’re running an errand or going out to do something fun. I’ve been all over town by foot, bike or bus to go shopping or to the movies. Some of the concerts I go to, I take the train if they are within acceptable and trustworthy transit routes.
One of my friends even went to Montreal to catch one of his favorite bands he had waited years to see. I can’t blame him if he’s waited a long time. If I wasn’t doing other things at the time, I would have briefly followed Lordi to another city too!
However, due to the limited amount of money that I have, it’s difficult to tackle this side of the independence coin. Maybe someday, I’ll ask my aunt where she lives and take the train up to see her (my older aunt which I haven’t seen in years. I keep in touch with her on Facebook but still) and perhaps if I wanted to go to a metal festival like Heavy MTL, I could gather some friends and we could go there together by train.
One of my friends even suggested we drive across Canada! So, whether I do this by myself or with other people, it’s still a way of being independent.
Despite having said in the past that I never understood people’s needs to take a road trip to follow their favorite band around, who knows maybe I will do it someday now that I see the concept a different way. I wonder what band it’ll be.
A long term travel thing would definitely be Europe, if the goddamn terrorist attacks stop. First stop Scandinavia! Finland and Sweden especially! However, I realized how expensive flights can be, we’re talking $800 – $2,000 and add that to the hotel price and concert tickets….. therefore Europe is pretty much out of the question until I have a job.
But, you never know, once I start having to provide for myself more, some places I shop at for my needs could give me Air Miles, that could lead to a free flight so all I would have to pay for is the hotel and concert tickets! I better do my research on how that loyalty program works.
So, in a way, being independent isn’t black and white. My friend said he once saw his little trip a few weeks ago as a test of independence. There are, in my opinion again, two ways to test this, it’s not one-sided.
I work on both sides as I can, it’s a long progress but it is better than nothing. What is being independent to you? Do you see it as two-sided, even three?

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