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The Importance of Independence

I’ve just signed up for my second job, and, having decided to continue renting instead of moving back in with my parents after graduating, I am assured of one thing: my independence is very important to me.

This may just spawn from a love of wearing pyjamas until 4pm on my days off, and eating cold dinner remains for breakfast without the reprimanding eyes of my parents (I’m 21 now, I pay bills and tax, I should know better…) However, despite what is already turning out to be a struggle, I would rather live off my beloved cheap tins of Aldi soup than know that I’m relying on the dough being brought in by another bread-winner (I’m really hungry right now.  Like, claw my eyes out, belly-rubbing hungry.  No more food analogies.)

The importance of independence: how much would you give up to have it, or, alternatively, how much independence would you sacrifice to get ahead?

I love my parents, I do.  Even though sometimes they have terrible Wi-Fi, and we don’t agree on whether swearing = funny.  They are both, independently, incredibly accommodating and generous and I am hella lucky to have them.

Moving back in with your parents after graduating is the sensible option.  If you are a student reading this, MOVE BACK IN WITH YOUR PARENTS.  Unless you have another stellar option, this really will save you an absolute bundle whilst you spend a few months blinking in the bright headlights of the ‘real world’.  I have decided not to move back in with my parents, and my bank account is haemorrhaging preeeetty severely.  As I mentioned, I have taken up a second job in order to shift some overdraft and save up for some tasty work experience (that I am incredibly excited about, and will also blog about to the point of oversaturation.  Hooray!)

But what I really want is to be able to support myself.  My parents have raised me well, and especially knowing that I have a sibling whose personal, lifelong independence is compromised, I endeavour to use the skills they have taught me, and those I have taught myself, to hoik myself onto my feet.

Generally, for anybody fortunate enough to be of able body and mind, money is often the only thing standing in our way.  Independence is a priceless but costly asset.  It can be taken away by few things – the law (should prisoners be allowed to vote?  I don’t reckon so…), or bad health, perhaps.  And I’m proud to say that generally, as a society, we are sympathetic towards those who, for one reason or another, lack independence.  We in the UK live in a welfare state, with the NHS and benefits.  Not always economically efficient, occasionally abused and sometimes not dealt with proficiently by those in charge… but I’m genuinely proud to say that at least we have and are trying.

For myself, money has occasionally been the setback towards independence; a slippery slope into potential debt-doom.  I’ve gratefully received generosity from those close to me, which I intend to repay as best I can.   But then, who isn’t struggling with money problems at the moment?  If you’re on minimum wage, throw your hands up at me!  Hollaaaa!

Regardless, I am trying.  Not always successfully…but, the golden light of cold pizza at 10am at the end of the tunnel will keep me strong.  And nothing tastes quite as good as leftover pizza that you managed to provide for yourself (bogof, obvs).

Look at me! Independent on a bike; happy as Larry (stock Audrey Hepburn photo)

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8 Comments

  1. At the end of last month I was looking for somewhere to live as my student accommodation is coming to an end. After putting my profile up on spare room and having no luck (and some creepy phone calls) I decided that my best bet was moving home. I know part of my independence is going to be taken away but then it will be my goal to be financially stable, less in my overdraft to move the f out 🙂 Good luck i’m sure it will be worth it in the end.

    • Thank you, and good luck to you too! I’m sure you’ll be on your feet quicker than me, having made the sensible decision.

  2. Great post, as usual Muzzy. I feel very lucky that I have been able to land myself some sweet jobs for the next year but when I have to return those skis and hang up my rucksack for a few months, I have no idea what I’ll do. Bah. Money is the root of all evil. Let’s all just share and be happy. Fuck capitalism, screw getting a 9-5… Because communism works, right?

    • Babe babe babe. I’ve heard things about this communism business. If only we’d learnt more about Marx in our-OH WAIT!

  3. Babes I couldn’t agree more. I’m moving out tomorrow, I don’t think I could cope with living with my parents. Needing to be driven around by them everywhere. It’ll be expensive, damned expensive. But I look forward to hearing how you go, because it’ll be worth it in the end.

    • Sometimes it does feel like drawing blood from a stone! Hopefully my decisions won’t bite me on the bum, muchos good luck to you too!

  4. I’m in a similar situation. But right now, I would give a whole lot for independence. I’m working, but I can’t make enough to both live on my own and save for the future. It’s a painful decision to make and depressing as hell.

    As a side note, man that Audrey Hepburn was foxy.

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