Did you know that July 4th — Independence Day has only been officially a holiday since 1941?!? Celebrations go further back but it surprised me that it wasn’t a federal holiday until 1941.
To go along with the theme of the day, I was thinking — what does independence mean to me?
Obviously, living in a free country is something that I don’t know anything different. It’s been my experience my entire life. And not just a free country, but a country where I have opportunities, and I feel like when shit hits the fan, people will take care of me. My husband, my family, my friends, honestly, even strangers. Other Americans. I have more hope and faith in people I think than many people might. I want to give everyone the benefit of the doubt to be a good person (don’t worry though I’m not naive and I stay sexy and don’t get murdered).
Because I know I was born in a very privileged situation (free country, parents with jobs who provided for me and loved me, literally nothing to complain about from my childhood, etc.), I take my independence and the opportunities it affords me seriously. I try not to make excuses for myself for anything because really, there just aren’t that many valid excuses. We all make time for what we want in life. I know I have nothing to complain about and my future is completely dependent on my own hard work.
When I think of independence in a smaller sense, I think of my job. I’ve only had 2 actual jobs since college. I was a photo editor at a publishing company, and then I was a Senior Designer at Hallmark Cards HQ for almost 5 years before moving to DC and doing my blog and consulting full-time.
Working for myself is what makes me think of independence. I get to work on whatever I choose to say yes to. I get to make my own schedule and I have the freedom to do what I want when I want, depending on deadlines. But at the same time, sometimes I have to say yes to things that maybe I don’t really want to, but I feel like I should because I might not as busy that month as I like to be to feel comfortable. Sometimes when the work is there, you take it, because you never know when it won’t be there.
When you have to create your own salary, it can be scary sometimes, and so I don’t always only do the things I really really want to. Sometimes I’ll take on clients that I don’t necessarily want, but I feel like I should financially.
So my job gives me independence and freedom in a lot of ways, but I’m still getting all the way there. Although I’m sure when I think I’m “there” it will just be something else. But overall, I feel very free and am so grateful that I was born in this country.
What is independence to you?