Independence is the Goal.

“I set my goal. And that goal was Independence.”

During one of her interviews that I watched years ago, Beyonce said this. And although I don’t remember which interview it was, and who was interviewing her, and what she was wearing and all of that, I will never forget those words. Not because they inspired me at that time- but quite frankly, they scared me. I thought to myself, did I have the courage to set a goal as… um, scary as independence? I didn’t.

Independence meant to be able to stand on your own two feet. It means being able to buy your own clothes, pay your own bills, cook your own food, do your own laundry, clean your own house. It also means being able to care for those who depend on you, to look out for your loved ones both financially and emotionally and physically. It means earning your right to have a say and have an opinion. It means work, work, work. Work – so that no one, no where can tell you what to do. No one, no where is the boss of you. You are the boss of you. And that’s the prize, that’s the amazing silver lining to being independent.

That’s what independence means.

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For most women in India, ‘independence” is not really an expected goal. Family and society expect their daughters to think more along the lines of – ‘You can study, and you can work, but if you don’t want to, it’s alright, we can find a nice boy for you, rich, well-settled, and we can get you married off.’ I personally have always wanted to study, I always saw myself working. But it didn’t hit me until I watched that interview – that somewhere, back in my mind, this kind of thought hung around like a safety net. Oh my God, was I ashamed of myself. Not to mention supremely embarrassed – for someone who went around touting women’s equality and all of that. These were the questions I asked myself:

If I was all alone – if I was just me, what was my worth? What could I do to survive?

Would I even be able to do that – to survive?

From that day it was a journey. I opened myself to the possibility of being all alone – and being completely self-sufficient. Setting your goal as independence needs a lot of strength and courage, it really does, because it literally means that you can’t depend on anyone else. It’s just you.

I have nothing against women or men who decide to marry and stay at home while their partner earns. That’s their choice, and I respect that. But it’s not like that for me.

I know now, for a fact that I want to be independent.

And I’m still learning how hard that is to achieve, especially when you are nineteen years old like I am, and still have to depend on your parents to put you through college and pay for you and everything. But I tell myself now that I will get to it one day, and I hope I do.

And now here’s a Beyonce gif to thank you for reading through my philosophical rant. I’m done.

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7 thoughts on “Independence is the Goal.

  1. My high school principal would be glad to hear you talk about more women setting their goal to being independent.

    I have met that rare Indian woman who never had the opportunity or means to break free, struggle to create both and have broken free and then there are plenty Indian women who have the reason and the means to leave an abusive relationship, yet give up without a fight and hide behind the excuse, ‘What can I do, I am born a woman?’

    Well, I am glad you want to try. All the best.

    Sorry if I sounded preachy there, but independence like many other qualities can begin only by the process of thinking and evaluating oneself.

    I don’t know if you’ve read Hermann Hesse’s ‘Peter Camenzind’. If not, try it, Michael Rollof’s translation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • No, you didn’t sound preachy at all! Yes, I agree with you when you say that to be independent,one needs to begin by evaluating oneself. I’m in the process. I shall definitely check out Peter Camezind, thank you for the suggestion! 🙂

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      • Thanks for your kind response. I hope you can find and define yourself. You have my hearty wishes.

        Ok, one small tip for encouragement. When you get to this place of ultimate freedom and learn to stay there – a state of mind that can be cultivated through self-awareness and by bringing small changes to one’s thinking process, adjustments in attitude and action, through small doses of constant conditioning – it is a place in your mind completely liberated that is so blissful, that you are at once emotionally removed and deeply attached to the world around you. No matter what happens around you, at your core(could also be called your soul) there would be unshakable equanimity.

        You would still be the same person on the surface and your day to day life would still be the same, but something would be different in your core, you’d be stronger, you’d be able to let go and float free.

        It just like renovating the foundation to your house without changing the rooms or furniture anything else in the outer shell. In the process some things will fall off, some things might crack up while others would be resilient. You have to go through it all. When the renovation is complete the house would still look the same at one glance, yet some how different and in many ways better.

        I can’t stop talking about this topic, I can go on and on for days. So, there it is my last piece of advice.

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  2. The Indian woman’s quest for independence. I am glad to hear you think like that.

    I just want to emphasis on one point. Being married or single has very little to do with being independent. It might be just a manifestation of independence or otherwise, nothing more.

    If you want to be truly of an independent mind the external circumstances do not matter. Like you’ve written, you have to grow up and own your actions and thoughts. Question and examine everything, society, culture because most of the shackles are in our mind. The freedom we seek is within ourselves. There is nothing more liberating than being one’s own person.

    All the best with your admirable quest, but let me tell you this, being an independent person is hard in any society, particularly as an Indian woman it is tremendously hard. So take it easy on yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your advice! I think as an Indian woman, setting your goal as independence can be challenging, but more women should do it. But, like you said, I have been told how hard it can be! Shall take it slow. Thanks a lot for reading my post! 😀

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