The Importance of Being Earnest… About Independence

You’ve just graduated college – or nearly so – and you’re ready to start the next chapter. Your life starts NOW. It is your time for independence!

However, for those of us who haven’t snagged our One-and-Only (and by that I mean career, boyfriend, a perfect pair of boots…) you gulped when you read: INDEPENDENCE. Is your nervous anticipation warranted? Yes. It is unique to you? No. The Independent Woman is a growing trend in this modern world.

At a time when our education begins to take shape outside the classroom, we begin to notice a need to find our place in this world. What does this planet need, in whole or in part? More importantly, what can we offer? As one friend put it: “What’s your voice?”

A fair and privileged few will stand akin to Charlotte “Charlie” Matheson of NBC’s hit, Revolution, armed and ready to forge our trail with a goal in sight but no map other than a self-promise. A few late bloomers might continue to skirt the edge of the wake, blinking at the boat’s spray and flowing with the bumps. Most of us, however, will feel more like ants under a magnifying glass – a frenzied struggle to be free, with unseen forces blocking our path.

The solution: Independence. Independence from vices, independence from fears, independence from safety and unwarranted caution. Independence from picking out the same thing on the menu. Independence from buying the same colored clothes, season after season. Independence from that cheap shampoo that you hate… try a new one on this month’s budget! Independence from your addiction to coffee, shoes, purses, buying music, procrastinating, telling yourself you need to lose 10 pounds, thinking about that boy.  Independence from your imaginary better self who goes to volunteer while you wave and say, “I’ll come next time.” Independence from the career hole you’ve carved for yourself, even if you’ve spent a fortune on education.

Be INDEPENDENT! Choose your own path, and have a reason! If there were no purpose behind the choices we make, they wouldn’t really be choices. So dare to be risky. (Not risqué, mind you—the accent makes all the difference, and I don’t mean etymologically).

American architect, theorist, author, and inventor Buckminster Fuller (you’d have to be brilliant with that name, right?!) once commented, “There’s nothing about a caterpillar that tells you it’s going to become a butterfly.”

The scary truth is we don’t know what our journey holds. But I’ll wager we could ALL agree with Confucius: A journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step.