I am part of the generation that grew up listening to Destiny’s Child telling me about Independent Women. My mother who was born in the 50s preached to me to never depend on a man. From my teens onward, society directed me to forge my own path towards my unique identity and make MY dreams come true, no matter what THEY say.
In theory, it seems like sound advice. But why does every job application require teamwork and communication skills? Why am I being told not to despair if I am single as “he will come someday”? How is it that I am a “loner” if I do not go out with a large social circle of people I barely know, or hang out with my 3 best friends (Sex and the City-style) at lunch every Sunday? And since when is “loner” a bad word anyway?!
I think my point is that I am getting mixed signals if depending on people in life is required, a useful trait or a terrible thing. For example, as a woman, I was pressured early in life to think if a man shows interest in me, is nice to me (buys me flowers, asks me out) that I am required to reciprocate his interest, otherwise I would be an ungrateful bitch. I depend on his action and interests in order to be “allowed” to express mine. Yes, you should let someone down kindly but if you are not interested then you have the right to say “fuck off”. It is astounding as to how many woman are still stuck in that brainfart of our society.
I like being alone and I am alone quite often. I have noticed that as soon as I am with people, I become less independent. I ask for advice, information and help constantly, even about things that was I alone, I would just do. Having the opportunity to depend on others makes me needy as shit, btw another interesting insult.
Do I like depending on others? If you ask me in person I will say “no”, on the count of bad experiences from my past. (Random fact: I once had a flatmate for a year who agreed to mail a small package of my clothes back home that did not fit into my suitcase, I left him money and everything. At first I did not hear from him for weeks, when another friend went to check, he told her, he had binned my parcel and taken the money. Yay at depending on others for anything.)
However, I secretly kind of enjoy depending on others as Hollywood has given me the illusion that as a woman it is inevitable and that depending on others is actually fluffy and fun. After all, they do say: “it is not about the things you do, it is about the people you are with”… You could argue that a good balance is sharing your life with and not depending on someone. But think about it, in every Hollywood film the happy woman depends on someone, her friends or a man or her family to get that happiness. The loner bitch finds her way back to society because she realizes that emotionally, she cannot be alone.
So I guess I have been trying to be what I see. While my two hobbies: traveling, watching TV (and doing them alone) are fun, I get pity from others and try to be what society wants. But where is the healthy line between needing people to stabilize ones life or support you and be there for you? I probably seem like a fairly independent person but another one of insecurities is… that my neediness will eventually push individuals around me away. 😀 Yes, I think some people do want me as their friend, roommate, girlfriend, and we do all come with problems but the positive should outweigh the negative and I think my neediness makes me seem like a dreaded fulltime job. I can take care of the major things but need approval for small everyday things.
“In the end, we are all alone”-there are too many contradicting statements. “You should not let your happiness be defined by others” but “it is all about the memories you created with friends and family”. I am not much of a family person, then again if someone offered me a happy TV family, I would give them my kidney tomorrow, so maybe I am the hypocrite. I chase my own happiness by chasing interesting opportunities but looking back, a lot of it started from a desire not to go home to my family and depend on these people so does that make me an independent woman? I once moved to another country for a man, it did not work out, was I financially dependent on him? No. Emotionally? Yes. Not commenting on it further. I probably should not care if I annoy people by being needy, lots of people annoy me as well. Even if I try and be less annoying, I am not being myself by shutting away a part of my personality and quieting my inner voice. People come and go, hating myself for what other people think of me is only hurting myself and making me even more insecure.
Long rambling short. I feel conflicted, life would be so much easier if I personally did not need people so darn much but I depend on too many peoples approval, attention and love. I keep telling myself that you cannot please everyone but if I could I would. No, not sexually, well maybe, anyway… Who am I to judge, if depending on your significant other, your kids, your boss, society or whoever makes you happy, is your thing. Go for it. I am still struggling with it though.
I only own the ramblings, none of the pictures in this post.