Seeing as how the 4th of July is in two days, I feel it’s as good of time as any to write about living independently.

Being on your own sheds a new light on life.  You realize how you took for granted all the times your parents did those extra chores when they could’ve been doing other things.  Things that were fun.  Cleaning isn’t fun (I say this as I sit here and look at the piles of laundry and dishes to be done), especially on beautiful sunny days.  Those days you say, “Oh, I can do this tomorrow.  It can wait.”

Lo and behold, tomorrow is another beautiful and sunny day, with absolutely no motivation to stay indoors.

Then comes the weekend.  Who wants to clean on the weekend?  Then again, who has energy to clean after working for 9 hours during the week?  Who has time to clean in general?

Light bulb moment: A cleaning service, that’s who!

Then you realize- oh wait. I don’t have money to hire someone to clean. #realityhits

When living on your own, the value of a dollar sets in.  Especially when you realize each dollar could be used to buy your freedom from those awful student loans that mount up to the worth of almost two brand new cars.

You start to realize as well how much everything costs. Food. Gas. Clothes. Internet. Phone.

But, being independent also has its benefits.  For instance, no one will care that I don’t clean because when you live on your own, you have no roommates to judge you.

Also, having your own space is really nice. And I mean really. You get a taste of how you like to decorate, if at all.  Growing up, my parents (Mom especially) loved to decorate the house with items that reminded them of the outdoors, such as birds, deer (for my dad, our mounted 12 point buck is his decorating contribution), or flowers.  Pictures of flowers, indoor plants, and having our back patio covered with pots of flowers that Mom made sure to protect from rabbits and squirrels by letting our dog chase them away.

Now, nature is still appreciated, but the taste has grown.  In addition to vases of fake (unfortunately, I don’t have time to have/produce a green thumb) flowers, art on the walls includes posters and frames of urban life- Paris, Italy, NYC skyline, etc.

Being apart from everyone doesn’t necessarily make you more dependent on them.  In fact, it makes you appreciate your time with them even more than you realized, especially as loved ones pass on or move away and realize that they have helped partially make you into the person you’ve become.