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As a person with a very unsettling life like myself, I must say I have tried it all, and the being independent thing is and always has been major for me.
As a kid I always longed for my independence, I couldn't wait until I was 18 and could spread my wings.
What I didn't know is that life happens. And no matter how much you dream it is going to be like or plan how it will be, you don't exactly know what will come.
For me, when I turned 18, I couldn't have my independence right away. I still needed to go to university and study to be something, and financially wise I couldn't afford a university far away from my parents, so I would have to study close and still live with them.
So I started thinking "I can't wait to be 21, because then I will be someone independent".
My unsetttliness started before I even realized. As I graduated from high school I thought I wanted to be an actress and so, I went to college for it. Out of 3 years of study I completed only 1. Why?
Well, It took me the year to realize that life was not for me.
And so I got lost, I didn't know what to do.
My dad came to the rescue with an idea, which was what finally gave me the independence I longed for.
I went to flight attending school, studied hard, and loved it. And got my first job even before graduating.
I did graduate though, and then I went to work. And oh boy, was that THE independence.
I got to move to Dubai, work for a major company, have my own place, my own money, and be away from my family (and was that away... 12.219km or 7.592 miles).
So what changed when I became independent?
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1. I created my own routine.
We may think we have our own routine even when we live with family, but as a matter of fact we don't. We haven't built how things work in your house, your rules, your needs.
Before you had parents tell you what time to go to bed, and what time to get up, what your weekend curfew was and so on. When you have your house and your job, it isn't you who dictates time either, it is your responsibilities.
How many hours of sleep do you need to function well the following day? What time schedule is your work? What house duties do you have to do, like cleaning, paying bills and so on?
That's when you realize you don't have enough time to do everything you wanted, and sometimes you don't even have time to finish only the responsibilities, let alone going out and doing things to pleasure you.
So you need to put priorities:
- What has to be done no matter what
- What has to be done but doesn't have to happen right away, it can be scheduled
- What things you should do to keep yourself happy
- What things you would like to do, but they won't necessarily bring you the joy you need to survive
I made a list of those things, and put them in my daily schedule. So after all that had to be done was in and what could be scheduled too, I would look at spare time to add the happy and joyful things.
And trust me when you are done and you look at the schedule you realize that you thought you would be doing a lot of happy things, and in the end it truly is maybe 1 happy thing or 2 per week.
Sad, I know.
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Bills are things that consume most of us when we are independent, specially if you are 100% independent, as in you don't have a husband/wife to share the responsibilities, or roommates, etc.
Most often the salary you make will do for your bills and not a lot will be left over to splurge, and if you do spend it all, most likely things that you don't expect to happen, do happen, like your car breaks down, or you need a plumber and so on.
This is when you realize you can't spend all the money you make on shoes.
Finance becomes your best friend, and so you start dividing your money in:
- Money for bills
- Money for emergencies
- Money for savings (for your future self)
- Money for splurging
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4. Organizing yourself
This is something you have to learn quickly otherwise your life will become chaos in a very short time.
Organizing is not just about having the house and your things organized, it is also about having your schedule organized. All the things you have to do, meetings, doctor appointments, grocery shopping, paying the bills, etc.
We tend not to account the daily things we need to do apart from working when we are independent. Life is not about working only, it is about managing your whole life and details into place and time.
My tip is have either a planner where you have written all the to do's or have notes to remind you on your fridge, or reminders on your phone.
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5. It's not that easy
The dream of a teenager to be independent is never what the real deal is. We idealize what it will be, but we have no idea. So when we get to do it we see it is a lot harder and not as fun as we thought.
But once we experience being independent, going back to dependency is the hardest thing ever.
Because when you finally get how to function on your own wonderfully, going back to the parents, or getting married means you have to leave behind your routine, and either adapt to the already established routine or create a new one with your partner.
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This post may sound like I don't like independence, but trust me it is not that.
I love independence, and for that is still the most awesome things a human being can have.
This post is just a reality check.
What about you, how do you feel about independence?
Love it, hate it?
Other thoughts on it?
Leave me a comment below letting me know.