In a different way. People usually associate independent with earning your own money and living away from home. Yes I do both of those, but what really truly is liberating and-
I feel-a true sign of independence is social independence. When you have the confidence to travel by yourself, to go to the movies by yourself, to take yourself out to dinner, etc. The solo travel has been as part of work, which is not the same as taking a gap year or even a few months off, but still, it’s been such good prep I’m confident I could handle such an extended holiday when previously I would never have been able to. Going to the movies—old school, been doing that for at least 3 years. I can safely say I achieved dinner several months ago. I think I only did it twice, haven’t had a chance to since then, but wouldn’t mind if the occasion arose again.
The only things left are to officially move out of the parents’ place, 100% own a car, and learn to cook. Woot.
It all came to a head last night. I had been told off by my manager for the millionth time. Feeling rather emo, I jumped in the car and drove to a random town 60km from work in the rain and fading daylight, just because it was totally dangerous. Also because I hadn’t been on that stretch of highway before. Made it back, then decided I still hadn’t recovered, so took myself out to dinner. Didn’t really think too much of it except for 3 things. What were those 3 things? Well, when I woke up this morning, I had a few more revelations too:
- Revelation no 1 from last night: That was my first time out to dinner ever
- Revelation no 2 from last night: It felt really bloody good. The waitress must’ve realised and suggested a table opposite to where everyone else was sitting. She served me really well too.
- Revelation no 3 from last night: This is pretty much 4 years to the day I watched my first movie by myself
- Revelation no 4 (this morning): Second time I’ve ever driven impulsively by myself, but the first one of proper duration (the first was during 30 min lunch break, this was a good 2 hour return trip). Maybe something I don’t want to repeat, but I was amazed at my driving stamina after 14 months of driving hundreds of kilometres every weekend (that’s what happens when you work in rural areas and anything of interest is so far away from everything else).
- Biggest revelation of them all (this morning): I have now done everything by myself that people aren’t supposed to do by themselves. Eat out for dinner (I haven’t done brekky or lunch but would never hesitate unlike dinner), go out to movies, shopping, travelling, the lot. Maybe the only thing I haven’t done is lived in a foreign country, but the timing isn’t right quite yet, and I know I wouldn’t have any issues doing that.
Right, I’m taking myself out to karaoke Thurs night. At the local pub. I’ll be sensible—no drinking. If anyone tries to do anything inappropriate, I’ll just up and leave (chances are high given it’s a low socioeconomic area but as one of my goals is to do probono work in developing countries I better get used to unwanted advances).
Two main issues are going on in my life right now:
I travel for work and living. Not fly in, fly out business trips. I mean like I work contracts far away from home (meaning my parents’ place) and obviously have to live there. So the slow kind of travel. Yet everytime I jump on FB and see someone’s photos (because there’s always someone travelling), I get jealous. It doesn’t matter where they are in the world, so long as I haven’t been there. And yet some of those places I wouldn’t go, but still get jealous.
I’m not unhappy with the quality of my experiences (probably because it’s slow travel) and in fact am very happy, but I’m unhappy with the quantity—and the rate. But the whole idea is that it’s slow travel and I know that the others are just being tourists as their travels are their annual leave. You see it now? I want the quality of slow travel and the speed of tourist travel but that’s pretty much impossible short of becoming a career traveller, esp with the number of places I want to go to, e.g. travel blog, travel photography etc. Anyway I think I need to stop comparing myself to everyone else, and that would help bring my expectations down to a more reasonable level.
I’ve always been very happily single. Frankly, I’m scared to be in a relationship because of the independence singledom affords (and therefore my ability to jump around every few months). But at work currently, ALL of my workmates without exception are in relationships. It’s hard to be the seventh wheel. None of these people I think would shout from the rooftops they’re in a relationship (I’ve seen some people do it and it just screams of codependency) but because it’s a transitional period for everyone, it seems like they are when it probably is more like the topic just naturally comes up.
One guy’s just recently married, so he still has his rose-coloured glasses on, the other guy’s relocated down here, leaving his gf and family 1,000km away and his gf will only join him in 2 months or so and he keeps telling us how’s he bored (aka how he’s forgotten to be single), and the last girl’s just gotten a job in her bf’s area, so of course she’s going on about organising their place and how she can’t wait to not have to drive 5 hours every Fri night (or every other) to see him and how she won’t be bored by herself anymore. You see that’s the thing. All of them have forgotten how to be single and entertain themselves, and I don’t ever want to do that when I’m in a relationship. Yet I keep wondering if I should be in one. Argh. Again, I think I need to just shut it out.