The Ups and Downs of Being an Independent Woman

 

Independence is something that people take for granted. I don’t just mean living in a country where we have certain freedoms, I’m talking on a smaller scale. Being independent means more than running an errand by yourself or going to the bathroom alone at a bar or restaurant. Independence, at least for me, means you are the one who takes care of you. You don’t rely on anyone else to change your mood or hype you up. Being independent takes a strong woman. I think it is something people should strive for over the course of their lifetimes. I have been pretty independent since I was a kid, not relying on other people to cook me dinner or help me with homework, but I am still working on it. Being independent has its pros and cons.

One major perk of being independent is getting to choose how your day goes. I was out running errands the other day alone and it was great. I got to choose the stores I went to, how long I stayed in them, what I looked at while in them and what I bought from them. I didn’t have to go into any stores I didn’t want to just because someone else wanted to. One big issue that people deal with when in pairs of two or more is where to eat. Deciding a place that suits everyone’s needs and tastes is time consuming and exhausting. When you are alone, you get to pick where you eat. If you are in the mood for a burger, you get to have a burger. If you want mexican or italian, you can go there and not worry that the person/people you’re with won’t be happy about it. When I was out and about, I spent 20 minutes in the Goodwill dressing room trying on at least 20 articles of clothing and it was amazing, not being rushed by a boyfriend or mom who is standing outside the dressing room sighing and pacing. I made trips to TJ Maxx, Home Depot, Target and took myself out for lunch for a big burger. It was a productive day and let me focus on me. I think too many people are worried that people are looking at them and thinking ‘They’re eating alone? What a loser’ but trust me, no one is looking at you because no one cares. I’ve gone out for coffee alone (and by this I mean sitting at a table and enjoying it, not taking it to-go and rushing to your car), I have seen movies alone and I have eaten alone. I think it is important to take days where you do the things you want to do because self-care is essential.

With that being said, independence does have its downfalls. Sometimes I become so independent that I get into the mindset that I don’t need friends or family to help me at all in life which isn’t true. I have days where I have picked myself up countless times and when someone else comes around and tries to help me out I push them away because I know I am capable of doing it on my own. I have done this and after I do it too much I start to get angry at them for trying to help me and I push them further away. No. I have taken care of myself for this long so you don’t get to come here when it is convenient for you and try to fix me. I have fixed myself. This mindset will get you in trouble with yourself. There is nothing wrong with fixing yourself but you must understand that you cannot always do it on your own, and there is no shame in looking to someone else for help.

Being independent is about feeling confident enough to do things on your own that others may be too scared to do. It means living your life to the fullest by putting yourself first and taking care of yourself. It also means being comfortable with looking to other people when you need them. It means knowing your limits and accepting help when you have exceeded them. Being an independent woman is important in today’s society and, in my opinion, is something that women should strive for. You shouldn’t always depend on another human to cheer you up when you had a rough day,or to go to the movies with you. Learning to be independent will set you free.