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?