Friday, 26 February 2016

Independence Is Not Loneliness


So I watched this video on Facebook and thought - how cool is that, I agree with everything they have said in it. I'm going to share it. Then, later on in the same day I heard this:

"I don't like school. I have to get a boyfriend by the time I'm twenty so he can look after me."

At this point I piped up and said "don't you want to be able to look after yourself by the time you are twenty?"

She shook her head and said "No. I want to have a boyfriend that will look after me by the time I'm twenty. That's what everyone in school wants too."

The reply she got from her guardian was this: "No. You have to go to school, study and work hard, and then look after me." In his defence (he was her grandfather or some relation) he was kidding about the 'look after me' part of the reply.

But after that, all I wanted to do was ask why he didn't tell her to want to be able to support herself. That independence and stability is actually a really good thing to have in life. That this doesn't mean she couldn't have a boyfriend, but does mean that she shouldn't want to rely on her boyfriend. Why did you not tell her that independence is not lonelinessWhy not?

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Why did you not tell her to work hard and achieve her dreams. That at the age of twenty she could be inventing things, at university, or doing an apprenticeship, starting and running her own business, working, doing something she really really loved, - basically she could do ANYTHING. That she is capable of amazing things! Why did you not tell her that independence is not lonelinessWhy did you not say this? It made me want to cry.

But here's the thing. I am certain, in fact I know, that the first thing that goes through some of my family members heads when they see me is that I'm "not married...still".

I've been told that I have studied too much, that I often work too much. I've even been told I don't work enough. I've been told that I'm wasting my skills by not getting a job related to my undergrad studies. I've been told to do what I want now because after marriage I may not get the same chances - what with responsibilities and all....but then I've been told I can do whatever I want after I get married.

Let me tell you something, none of the above paragraph makes sense. It's all an oxymoron. Each piece of advice contradicts the other. I wish someone had told me at such a young age that independence is not loneliness. That individuality is great.
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Ok, so I am in no way against marriage and relationships. I'm actually the opposite. I want to get married. I want to share my life with someone, share my happiness, make memories, travel, buy a house together, have kids. But in the beginning, middle and end, it will be 'ours'. It will be 'our' marriage, 'our' memories, 'our' children, 'our' house. Not I, 'us'. I want to be able to offer independence and stability and and add to the marriage. I want to help be supportive of my partner and I want the other person to help and be supportive to me too. Even if this means not working for a while, or working more than I normally would. Marriage, being in a relationship, is a partnership. There are two people, not one.

And I'm fully aware that sometimes circumstances make it that we may need to rely on others. What I don't believe is that we should encourage our youth to want to rely on someone else. Independence is not loneliness.

I mean come on, you wouldn't want to have to be dependent on someone, so why don't we teach others this?

Oh, and this goes out to everyone. We should encourage everyone.

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10 comments:

  1. OH MY GOD FATIMA, this is so on point! This is the same for me too, an independent young woman is casually seen as a loner here, a girl in twentie HAS to get married so her husband can look after her. The thing is, she should be able to look after her own self. Maybe we are raised like that, to be always dependent. Marriage is a beautiful thing and I'd love to get married one day but I want to build myself first, this is because for the sake of my grace.

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    1. yay! Thank you, :) It's sad that being independent isn't always seen as a good thing :( Good luck!! x

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  2. I agree with everything you've said, Fatima! Independence is very important. It doesn't mean that one should leave everything behind and like a "YOLO" life (that's absolutely insane, btw). But the ability to be able to do things on your own & prove yourself use, for your own self and others, is the main point of independence. Marriage is beautiful. But I'd like to get married to someone who's independent and can get things done on his own. I'm sure that person, in return, would want the same in his partner. And it would make sense.

    Noor | Noor's Place

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    1. :) That's great! We need to do more things for ourselves. And I know you will find that person :)

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  3. I think it's dangerous to rely on others to look after you like this. You need to be able to stand on your own two feet. It's lovely to be in a relationship but not one that's overly co-dependant!

    Corinne x
    www.skinnedcartree.com

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    1. I agree! and that's what I tried to get across in the post - that we shouldn't encourage being dependent on others!

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  4. great post fatima but as a mother of 2 boys in their 20s i have to say that they too are under a lot of pressure to get married ( not by me or their father) . many of my sons have longed to find a girl to settle with since a teenager. some boys long for security just like some girls. boy or girl.... there is no difference.... some want security and others want freedom and excitement and adventure. lets celebrate our differences and fight that everyone has the right to freedom, freedom of choice, freedom of will and freedom to love whom and when they like

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    1. Yes! I agree :) That's why I put the 'everyone' at the bottom - although now I think I should have put it in bolder font because both males and females are under pressure and face similar situations. Definitely, lets celebrate our differences and right to freedom :) Let's use these rights and make the most of them. :) p.s I am going to edit it and put the last line in bold :)

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  5. This post speaks to me on so many levels.
    Even though I'm almost twenty, I can't take care of myself like "real" adults do, mostly because I'm still in college, which makes the financial part very difficult. However, I want to be independent when I graduate, because I know that in this day and age, it's ridiculous to expect a fairytale scenerio. A scenario I'm not even hoping for, because there's too much I want to do for myself. I still have to grow as a person, find out what I want to do with my life. In that way, independence is something I need. I wouldn't mind having a boyfriend, not at all. But right now, at this moment, I can't imagine going for a life in which a man takes care of all my needs while I play the happy housewife.
    I mean it with all my heart when I say this: Great post.

    x Envy
    Lost in Translation

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    1. Thank you! This means a lo to me :) I think we all find independence in our own ways and it'll happen as we grow as people. Thank you once again :) x

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