The Meaning of Being Independent

The Meaning of Being Independent

(Image by Capannelle)

Being independent means you study day and night to get good enough results to secure a scholarship for your own education

Being independent means the very first business shirt you own is the one you bought for the scholarship interview, and the one you still wear for years later

Being independent means putting up with staying in cramped dorms and with smelly neighbours at a god-forsaken place for four years, and not having a whole apartment to yourself

Being independent means your two legs are your main mode of transport, not a set of four wheels

Being independent means you go home to your family with nothing more than S$2 in your pocket, because you know if you tell them, they’ll worry

Being independent means you endure weeks enduring plain rice with luncheon meat and fried egg as you stretch your already-tiny daily budget of S$1.20

Being independent means getting As is reward enough for your own benefits, and not because your family needs to reward you for something that is not even for them

Being independent means you slog through your first month upon graduation trying to find a job because your survival depends on it, and not enjoying a long holiday like everyone else

Being independent means you wear your father’s office clothes when you do your attachment, and when you first go out into the working world (and get laughed at)

Being independent means you work hard, get a top degree from a reputable university, get a good job, impress your bosses, get promoted, provide for your family, travel the world, hang out with your friends, buy pretty things… on your own terms.

So stop complaining that you are being compared to me. You are NOTHING compared to me. You are given a chance to have a stab of being partially responsible for your own life, and you are throwing it away.

My patience is wearing thin.

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