Craving Independence

In college, my professor made us take a bunch of personality tests, and I remember having to answer whether I was a dependent or an independent person for some essay that I’m sure I was dreading.

I remember having no idea how to answer because either way, it felt like a lie. I’m independent because I love to figure things out and accomplish goals on my own. I enjoy time by myself and I’m definitely super introverted.

But… I need help with essentially everything. Even though my head says ‘okay, I don’t need/want any help with this,’ my body says ‘you’re ridiculous, tell your mom you can’t reach the remote.’

I’ve always thought it was some kind of sad-but-funny joke that I was born with the attitude and personality of a stubbornly independent person in the body of someone who literally has no choice but to rely on everyone around her. I’m a walking contradiction… well, you know what I mean.

I don’t do well on my own, but I crave it anyway.

One of the best examples I can think of the fact that I am aggressively NOT a morning person, and if it were up to me, I’d have at least an hour or two by myself immediately after waking up. To just slowly wake up, figure out my own breakfast, do whatever I want alone. Problem is, if I want to get up, I need someone to help me.

Maybe I’ve laid in bed under the covers for up to an hour after I’ve woken up and pretended to be asleep because I wasn’t ready to deal with being a human yet. Maybe it’s happened a bunch of times. Including once this week. I don’t know.

It’s not that I don’t appreciate my mom putting in the time and hard work to get me up every day, but the fact that I have to talk and have someone physically move me and dress me first thing in the morning is sometimes Too Much. I turn into an irritable brat. Ask my mom, I’m sure she’ll happily tell you!

Being home alone is a rare treat, something that usually only happens when my mom has to go grocery shopping and my weird brother tags along. For some sick unknown reason he loves grocery shopping, I really don’t get it.

It’s just nice to have the apartment to myself sometimes. I can’t move out, so it’s the closest thing I’ve got. Like I said, I don’t do too well all by myself. I can’t make myself food or go to the bathroom when I’m alone. If I drop the tv remote or my phone, there’s nothing I can do about it except wait for my family to get home. Still, it’s nice to have time just for me.

I look at my friends’ lives and see how free they are to do whatever they want whenever they want. They’re on their own, away from their parents. It’s all up to them because they’re totally independent. When I stop to compare their situation to mine, it makes me feel like a kid. I hate that feeling.

It’s really not that big of a deal, but I think everyone has those days where you want to be able to just leave. Just get up and go do whatever you want without worrying about anyone other than yourself, without the hassle of making a plan that fits everyone’s schedule and that everyone can agree on. I never have that.

It sounds a little whiny and dramatic, I know. But sometimes it sucks that I can’t just hop in the car and go off when I’m in a mood and want to be alone, or even just when I have a craving for IHOP at 10 pm and no one else thinks nighttime pancakes are an important, healthy decision.

I’ve learned to try and find my moments of independence in different ways, like going for walks around the neighborhood. I try to arrange my room so my most used things are within my reach so that, at least in my room, I don’t need help. The less I use an item, the higher or lower it goes on my bookshelves. My kitchen isn’t really accessible, but the one shelf I can reach in the fridge is reserved for my things.

My favorite activities are those I can do alone, like painting, reading, or writing these posts. I can just start without asking someone else to set everything up for me.

It’s all little things, but they go a long way, and it’s how I make the best of it. One day, I’ll hopefully have a job which will give me a chance to have some real independence. For now, I’m doing alright with what I’ve got even though sometimes I get a little bummed.

I have my moments of sulking, but I always have someone to call me out on it. Honestly, at this point, I’ve learned to just get over it quickly. Wanting to use the bathroom by myself isn’t going to change the fact that I need someone to help me. At least I have someone to do that for me. Let’s be honest, it’s not that great of a position to be in for them either.

Plus, whenever I’m feeling a little emo, I literally always have an excuse to make someone go get ice cream with me. And that’s hard to complain about.

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