7 Best Things About Living Independently
Talks & Thrills: Philippine Independence Day introspection 🙂
I was recently at a conference with a table full of young(er) Millennials. So I conducted a mini FGD about the idea of (eventually) living independently… away from their parents. I was quite surprised to hear a resounding “Hell no!” for reasons ranging from “I don’t want to pay rent.”, “I like coming home to a home cooked dinner and a clean bedroom.”, “I’m afraid of bills and loans.”, “I’ll just wait ’til I meet someone and get married.” to “I enjoy living for free so I can spend more on stuff.” My jaw dropped and rolled on the floor. I guess independence is relative. But living independently is probably the best decision you’re going to make as a working adult. It’s also the best kind of life training you can impart as a parent. You need to experience it at least once in your life! Whether you invest on your own pad or start renting a space, here are 7 best things about living independently.
1. YOU EARN A NEW SKILL SET: DOING CHORES.
OK maybe this is not the best thing but you need to at least know how to do things on your own without calling your yaya. This is the first sign of independence: learning how to pick up after yourself. Simple chores like washing dishes, doing laundry, making your own bed, sweeping the floor, cooking rice, frying food, and ironing a shirt are just some of the things you’re forced to do when you live independently. You can start learning by offering help at home even just for your own personal things. Not knowing how to do chores does not make you look cool. It only makes you seem ignorant. Parents, please don’t coddle your children!
2. YOU LIVE CURFEW-FREE AND NAG-FREE.
Still warming up at a party but you’re demanded to come home Cinderella time? When you live independently, no one’s obligated to wait for you. You have your own keys and an Uber driver to pick you up when you want. On the other hand, it teaches you to set your priorities straight and be responsible for your own safety. Will you stay up all night or sleep on time to prepare for work the next day? Will you say yes to a party invite with a group of strangers? You decide for yourself.
3. YOU GET UNLIMITED PEACE & QUIET, OR PARTY WHEN YOU LIKE.
Kick off your shoes. Put your feet up. Have a glass of wine. Ahhhh. You can binge-watch GOT or indulge yourself with Cinema One tearjerkers. But if you want some company, you can easily invite your friends over for a movie marathon and some bubbly. No awkward parent interrogation to boot.
4. YOU CAN DECORATE TO YOUR OWN TASTE.
French country? Industrial chic? New York inspired? Scandinavian? This is my personal favourite, for obvious reasons. Decorating your own space reflects your personal style beyond what clothes and shoes can convey. From picking the cutest accent chair to displaying your own artwork, it’s always nice to have a place you can call your own. But it also teaches you how to stay clean and organized. Best of all, you know where everything is. If you lose something, who will you blame? Exactly.
5. YOU COMMAND YOUR OWN TIME AND PACE.
Do you take forever in the shower and getting dressed in the morning? Do you get irritated with extremely peppy people pre-coffee? If you live on your own, you can be the worst morning person in town and you won’t be reprimanded for it. At the same time you can hustle as you wish without worrying about someone else’s schedule. Enough said.
6. YOU LEARN HOW TO MANAGE YOUR OWN MONEY.
I’ve always wondered why the word “bills” means two opposing things, haha. Oh yes, living independently means monitoring your own check book and making sure you have continuous power and tap water to survive. You become more self-aware of your expenses every time your 15-30 arrives. And that means setting aside money for savings or raising funds for that expensive purchase you’ve been drooling over. The fulfilment you get by accomplishing it on your own is priceless.
7. YOU BUILD YOUR OWN CHARACTER.
And that leads me to the last point: building one’s character. This is something you don’t learn just by reading books. Living independently from your parents, whether alone or cohabiting with a like-minded person, is a rite of passage especially for women. Gone are the days when women are expected to get married first and just depend on a husband’s support. It’s become more acceptable for people to enjoy independence by being responsible for yourself, your career, your dreams, your finances, and personal choices without being bound by societal norms and deadlines. It’s better to come to terms with yourself before tying the knot. So try it at least once in your life. I promise you won’t regret it.
Happy Independence Day, Filipinas! 🙂
Love, The Style Hobbyist