There’s a commercial airing right now to promote an upcoming dating show, which coins its star as an independent woman. Now, mind you, she’s relying on a television series to find her a husband FOR THE SECOND TIME! Independent woman? You tell me.
I’m not writing this to throw shade, but seeing it time and again made me start thinking about independence and its place in my life. Merriam-Webster defines it as, “not requiring or relying on something else : not contingent.” Having a handicap, it’s a quality I’ve sought my entire life. My instinct to this day is to try to tackle tasks myself, not to watch others do them and see how it turns out.
Admittedly, there are quite a few situations where I must concede to my limitations. Thus, in the areas where I can work without assistance, I’m particular about trying to maintain my freedom. With technology, for instance, I won’t buy anything I can’t operate on my own. Tablets don’t read my spastic movements well, so the two I’ve purchased were both returned after I realized that. Sure, I could dictate commands to others, but it would rob me of independence and them of time. Instead, I use my funds to buy equipment I can handle, even if it isn’t as chic.
The biggest way I exercise my independence is my writing. Some have thought I rely on my family to type for me, but I can tell them otherwise. Unless I’m on a deadline, every keystroke is mine, and that’s how I like it! Voice recognition programs don’t understand me, so I stick with the old typewriter approach…with one hand, no less. While I have some sore shoulder muscles on occasion, I don’t resent it; I’m proud of it. I’ve developed my individual process and don’t feel at all like it’s impeded my success. Rather, I’d argue that it’s been an asset, making me slow down and think longer on how to phrase something, as well as giving me insight into characters who need to overcome obstacles.
All this said, no one can truly live up to Merriam-Webster’s definition. Everybody relies on others. You may drive a car, but you depend on those who made it and its components, along with whoever drilled the oil to make the gas and then the truck driver who transported it, to make it accessible to you. Hence, this post isn’t intended to give readers the idea that it’s wrong to need people. It’s normal, although in certain circumstances, it may not feel like it is. The most beautiful—and perplexing—part of it is that the right people can help you become more independent.
So maybe I was a little hard on The Bachelorette!