What does it mean to be independent?
- To be free to express who you are and the gifts you have to share with the world.
- To have the confidence to be yourself.
- To have the ability to use what you know to benefit yourself and those you love, and the world at large.
- To be able to inspire others to be themselves.
- To have the clarity of your story, how it has impacted you, and how you impact the world.
- To have the sense of purpose and share your passions with the world.
- To be resilient, savvy, or self-reliant.
I think a woman of independent means is more than someone who has sufficient funds to live a life of her own choosing. She is someone who knows who she is, and her generous natures allows her to share her gifts with the world. Her wisdom, integrity, graciousness, compassion, insight and depth of understanding.
Milestones in our lives carry us from dependence to independence in various ways. As infants, children, and adolescents we are dependent on our parents for food, shelter, guidance and our sense of security. As adults, we long to cling to that security at times, while fiercely designing and defining our own paths. Sometimes the road may be bumpy, however, no one is handed a road map in this life…we make it up as we go and the same goes for handling the challenges that appear along the way.
I have declared my independence in various ways throughout my life – from stamping my foot as a toddler, saying “me do it,” to rolling my eyes in defiance as a teenager with my arms up to my elbows in soapy dishwater taking my turn washing the supper dishes, to heavy sighs and shoulder shrugs at the typewriter keyboard after another confrontation with a disagreeable office supervisor.
I am a woman of independent means because I have wit, charm, and, a very important commodity often in short supply, patience.
Asserting your independence means being willing to stand alone with your convictions, hold firm to your decisions and be resilient in the face of adversity.
When I attended Spring Quarter in London as a college freshman at the ripe old age of 30, some thought I was crazy. First of all, that I had quit a perfectly good secretarial job to attend college full time. Secondly, that I would run off to London for three months when I was a happily married woman. Somehow, it appeared I was breaching married etiquette by choosing to pursue an individual goal instead of deferring and maintaining the pre-determined “wifely duties.” Perhaps it did look like a declaration of independence on the surface, and it was of sorts. I was declaring that London was my favorite city in the entire world and I had a chance to spend three months there, in a study abroad program through the university. I made a dream of mine a reality. I applied for a loan and had the trip of a lifetime. My independence didn’t depend on unlimited funds, or the cautionary approval of family and friends.
My independence depended on me claiming it for myself and declaring I mattered enough to speak up for myself. Your independence does too.
The Unleashed Homemaker is an independent woman with frailties, strengths, failures, and victories.
What does independence mean to you?