Monday, November 17, 2008

Defining Character: Independence

The Defining Character Series continues today with one of my most long-standing qualities- Independence. However... sometimes I’ve got it, sometimes I don’t.

In most situations I am very independent. This started from a very young age. In fact when I was just a baby my parents decided to pimp me out for medical testing (we did live in Research Triangle Park). Before you go saying “So, that’s what’s wrong with her…” I will let you know there were no drugs (that I know of) involved. It was more like “how many times do we have to coax this baby to push this button before she starts doing it on her own” type tests. My mom took me to these because when I was something like 6 months old, my dad asked when I was going to get a job. I think this subconsciously told me I better learn how to take care of myself.

My mother also frequently tells me stories of our trip to Disney World when I was like 6. On this trip I figured out how to smuggle in a can of Coke to the park. I wiggled my way to a curbside seat for the parade and left my parents in the back of the crowd. I also attempted to cross 3 or 4 countries at Epcot and told my parents to hold my spot for prime viewing of the fireworks show. (My mom can’t remember if she actually let me go by myself.)

Now that I am all grown up I own my own house and manage to take care of it. Although there have been some crazy adventures with that one. I take care of my own car (to the best of my ability). Basically if anything goes wrong in my life, I have to figure out how to fix it. I can’t go calling daddy to come fix it. I manage to figure a way most of the time. Sure there are things that probably need fixing, but aren’t essential so I ignore them for a while. And of course I get advice and help from friends occasionally. And my mom has bailed me out on a rare occasion...but overall I am pretty darn capable of taking care of myself.

Lately though I have recognized a few areas where my independence needs some work:

1. Unknown social situations: Basically I need someone I know to be at any new activities I do. I have a hard time going to something new without have a friend go through it with me. For example, I really want to go to my church’s “Young Professionals” events (to meet a boy mainly…I know that is so, so bad). But I have no one to go with me and the thought of going alone makes me want to curl up in a little ball under a rock and hide. But maybe I need to challenge myself. I mean if I were truly independent would I think twice about going by myself?

2. You already know this one because it is on the list- Paying my Own Bills: There are 2 bills my mom still pays- my gas and my car insurance. Mainly because my car insurance bill came the month I graduated college and when she tried to hand it over to me, I convinced her I couldn’t pay it and needed to focus on finding a job. The gas thing is because that was the one allowable item I could charge to my parent’s credit card back when I first got it 10 years ago and I just never stopped. I have set a goal of taking these over at the beginning of the new year (or whenever it is time to renew my car insurance). But I really do need to budget a little better because I am practically living paycheck-to-paycheck as it is.

But I am not one of those crazy people who won’t let anyone else take care of them. Who doesn’t like to be taken care of every now and then? But I do like knowing that I am capable of doing it on my own. Because when it comes down to it who do you have to depend on but yourself?


Anonymous said...

Great post!

In response to #1: I am the same way! I was reading an article in the Boston Globe last week and we're not alone; Americans in general have social issues as a result of increased technology and the isolation it creates. As for church stuff; I won't go to a potluck without my husband, mother, or both! lol... (and it's not bad to go to meet a boy, if you can't meet one at church, where can you?)

In response to #2: I had a gas credit card in my dad's name and he paid my cell phone bill until they both expired. Do not feel bad; you can do it on your own and you will soon enough!

Irene said...
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