Hello. My name is Eschient. I am not the very model of a modern independent woman. Nor do I have the desire to be. This month, the USA is celebrating its’ independence from England and we are reveling in the personal freedoms we all have…except for fireworks. Those are illegal or banned in most places so don’t express your independence that way. And try to keep your clothes on at the family bar-b-q. And for the love of God, put that cigarette out.
Sorry, where was I? Oh, yes, that independence thing. It seems that every day the bar is raised in regards to what makes someone independent. I’m not the epitome of I have a boyfriend and a corporate job. Where can I pick up my “sell-out” badge? independence because I speak my mind anymore, unless of course, I’m getting paid for it. Then I’m not only speaking my mind, I’m making a living off of it, damn the man! Down with the corporate cookie-cutters! I am a revolutionary! I am not independent because I make a comfortable living without the help of someone else. That’s the standard now, if you ever need someone’s help to get ahead on the world, well, you just don’t deserve to live! Bah.
Hello. My name is Eschient and I have a boyfriend and a corporate job. Where can I pick up my “sell-out” badge? Two strikes against me in this wonderful world of black and white extremes. Somewhere, there is someone saying I need to ditch the man and move forward in my career; hi mom. Somewhere there is someone saying I need to give up on fairytales; hi sis. Unless of course he bows to my will or I’m only sleeping with him to advance my career. And there’s always someone saying that Corporate America is a joke and, oh, wait, that’s me. Never mind.
Hello. My name is Eschient and I believe in chivalry. Yes, I admit it. I want to be taken care of. Strike three, baby. I’m outta there. I like to have the door opened for me. I prefer to let him drive and damnit, I like when he pays. I like cooking and cleaning and not having to work. And I like to know that there is someone fighting for me and with me. It’s my job to make the standard 3 course meals, it’s his job to kill the bugs and lift the heavy things. I like it that way.
Yes, I pay my own bills and take care of myself. I can yell at a mechanic if I have to. I taught myself all the little geeky things I know and I have no problem making up my own mind. But now that just doesn’t seem to be enough for those who are trying to push the bounds of independence. It almost feels like getting up to par on the independence scale is a full-time job in itself and I just have no time or taste for it.
But still, there is that guilt. That little voice in my head that calls me a mooch if I have to borrow money from someone. That little feeling of despair if I have to ask for help and of course, that awful twinge in my stomach when I know I’ve failed. Do those circumstances make me less of a person? I don’t know anymore, but I do know that it makes me feel like less of one sometimes, and that’s what seems to be important in a world where everyone has their old traumas that they are overcompensating for now.
Now that I’ve come to a point in my life where I do have very close friends and people that want to support me in any way they can, I’m sort of forced to come to terms with that. I can swallow my pride all I want, but the rest of me doesn’t seem to digest it very well. Now all I have to do is decide if accepting help is an acquired taste, like wine, or an allergy, like peanuts. I am hoping that it is simply an acquired taste because I would much rather be a team player than a force of one. It’s far too lonely being fiercely independent and far too much work. Not to mention the amount of emotional damage I cause myself when I simply can’t be superwoman.
I know that I have people in the world that can depend on me and that it’s only fair that I can depend on them. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to confirm that with myself without allowing myself to get addicted to it, which has become one of my biggest fears. I can be as sarcastic or flip as I want to about something like this, but that doesn’t make it any less frightening or any less of an issue for me.
This year, you can celebrate your independence if you like, but I will be celebrating the fact that I, for once in my life, don’t have to do anything alone. And this year, I’ll try to do it guilt-free.