Friday, September 2, 2011

Miss Independent...Well Are You Really Independent, My Dear?



I have had the privilege for the past few weeks to be friends with the CEO of my father’s company’s daughter from Austria, Hannah, and Wow I’ve learned some interesting things. She deserves a post of her own because the subtle differences between U.S. and Europe are so awesome that I have to tell you. (i.e. Squirrels are still squirrels but they are  different colors there!) But amongst the weeks there is one issue that keeps coming up that opened a whole new door of misconception and different understanding. Being an independent woman. 

Now I don’t mean government differences and bans of this or that, I mean how you, personally view yourself. I know we all rocked out to Kelly Clarkson’s “Miss Independent” and Destiny Child’s “Independent Women” for Charlie’s Angel’s but are you really an independent woman? Hannah came here and if you asked her about herself she would say she was very independent and loves doing her own thing. But here in America, a foreign country to her, where things are so different like having to have a car to drive everywhere she’s had to give up her independence of living on her own in Vienna with mass transit at her fingertips always. When she returns home she is no longer going to live with her boyfriend but live with her grandmother so she again is losing that independence she once had. Also her college years are finishing up so in her “independent” decisions she is now dependent on the experiences to guide her. It’s a whole new ballgame.


She turned to me last Saturday and asked, “How do you do it? You have your own car, your own apartment, and a boyfriend with a good head on his shoulders…how did you get so lucky to be independent?” I know part of it is the cultural difference and that she isn’t home asking me this, but I really didn’t realize how much of an individual I am. Even tho my parents live a few condo doors up from me, my Mom still pays for my car insurance (I really need to change that), I’m still in the same town I grew up in, I guess I am a real-life independent woman who does what she wants, goes where she wants, and sees who and what she wants.

I asked a few of my friends what makes them feel like they are their own person and one said to me, “Well, Mel, you’re not an independent woman anymore because your in a relationship”. Ironically one of the things that Cj tells me he loves about me most is that I'm independent. But I'm drawing a blank. Others I've asked are like, "I guess your one but you still live near your parents." I don't think that has ANYTHING to do with who I am as a person. They don't buy me meals, they don't pick out my clothes...pick who I date or love or what I do with my Saturday nights. So why throw it my face? I'm at a loss...

What truly is a modern Independent Woman these days? 

I'd love to hear what you think?


8 comments:

Dancing Branflake said...

Great question! I was just thinking of this today. I think an independent woman does what she can by herself yet knows when to ask for help when she can't. But the things she can outweighs the things she can't. And the things she can do on her own increases as time goes on.

Sunshine Sarah said...

I think a modern independent woman is the woman that has her own place to live, buys her food and other stuff, has her own job (that she's at least a little bit proud of aka a real job), but most important: she doesn't let her feelings always run in the way of her dreams/decisions/career etc. Because we all know that when (bad)feelings are involved, a woman can barely handle the rest of things in her life. Ex. when her bf breaks up with her. I donno if I get my self understood here...
What I think I'm trying to say is that a woman can be considered independent when she has a certain control over her emotions, a certain balance of instinct and reason.

Lots of love,
Sarah.

Cafe Fashionista said...

I feel that a modern independent woman is someone who can stand on her own two feet regardless of who is in her life (be it spouse, parents, etc.). :)

k. mead said...

an independent woman knows what she wants and goes for it. She can be single, doing what she wants, or she can be in a positive loving relationship with someone who understands she needs to do her own things, and has her own dreams and goals. Yes, you have to consider someone else in decisions if you're in a relationship, but if one day that abruptly ended - an independent woman would have a job, friends, and a life to keep going even though one piece has changed.

Shia said...

Great question! I feel like I am feeling the switch from independent to in a relationship as I write. I say I used to be SUPER independent...my car broke down, clogged sink, etc...I fixed it or contacted who I needed to get it fixed - you know that sort of thing. But now I am engaged and I live with my fiance...everything is group effort or him wanting to take care of me...his feelings actually seem to get hurt if I don't ask him for help - so I think you can move from Miss Independent to Miss Relationship and asking for help but it takes a bit of time to adjust. Sometimes I think ... I CAN DO IT!!!!! But then I stop and think...he wants to help because he loves me. I now use my Miss Independent life to help my friend who is now out on her own for the first time. I'm passing it on to her so at least someone can use it...LOL.

Susan R. Mills said...

I think independence is a state of mind more than a state of living.

jozen said...

love this post. i think "being independent" means different things to different people. I am lucky enough to live in a country where colour, gender, sexual preference does not hinder individuals... to me that is independence.

Rachael said...

I lost all the independence, well the "feeling" of it when i left university to move back home. I could tell you what no being independent feels like more then it is. Gah i need to move out lol

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