Living independently

12:00:00 AM

Save for brief periods that I stayed with family, I've practically been on my own since my freshman year in college.  I've stayed in a number of dormitories, apartments, houses, and condominium units, and I think that my constant transfers make me a nomad. Anyway, between staying with my family and living on my own, I prefer the latter.

Don't get me wrong - I love my family, and I don't mind living with them. For starters, it's nice to be surrounded by people who unconditionally love me. And I also have to admit, being with them has its conveniences; I didn't have to worry about food or laundry or keeping the house tidy. I also didn't have to worry about paying rent on time all the time because I know that they have my back no matter what.

But I knew that to grow up, I had to yank the security blanket. I knew that I wasn't going to be really independent if I knew that when push comes to shove, my family will come to my rescue in a matter of seconds. I wanted to be independent, to be responsible for myself - make and manage my own money, pay my own bills, cook my own food, wash my own laundry, clean up after myself. I wanted to build good personal habits. More importantly, I wanted to make my own decisions.

Having no one to depend on has made me a much stronger person. Of course I had my moments of weakness, but for the most part, I was tough because I had to be. When confronted with difficult situations, I tend to underestimate what I'm capable of handling, only to realize when it's over that I could hack it after all. Living alone taught me so much about myself, and this awareness is something that I value immensely.

Side story: The last time I moved, I had this incredible realization that my life fits in an elevator. It took me one trip to haul all of my things from one condo to the next, and I felt free because of that. I'm not tied to one place, nor am I weighed down by too many earthly possessions. All I have are things that I really need, and perhaps a few luxuries (books, haha!).


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