Independence 

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Soon it will be the 4th of July and we will celebrate the independence of our country from a sovereign power.  There is something to be said for freedom, many children experience it in their early 20’s.  That time when parents stop supporting them and they support themselves, eventually even their own families. 

Some people called me spoiled because I lived with my mother until college and she even gave some money towards my freshman year of tutition.  I didn’t leave my house by the time I was 16 (my brothers and sisters didn’t want to live by my mothers rules) so I didn’t have to suffer the poverty my family did.  Though I wonder those baloney and butter (yes butter!) sandwiches I refused to eat for lunch count as a luxury food or the fact that I had to scour the house for bus money so I could go to the orthodontist all by myself in the 5th grade because my mom couldn’t take the time off work for missing a days pay was too much on the budget count.  Though being able to have braces makes me spoiled, I guess. How about as soon as I was old enough I had to earn money.  Starting as a babysitter the when 16 took my first job at Pizza and Pipes.  Yes I may have had dance lessons but was yelled at often on the ride home because this was a privilege that she picked me up (versus bus) or even provided them.  It may be true my brothers and sisters never had dance lessons but they did have little league and could have more if they still lived with my mother.  Though I was given ski lessons by my brother one year it was the only time I didn’t get yelled at because my mom didn’t have to do anything, I walked to and from the ski school bus with all my ski gear by myself.  That was a the one time as a kid I felt privileged.  Though it didn’t last long because soon my chauffeured days would soon be over.  My brother bought me my first car because he didn’t want me to ruin his car or maybe it was because he wanted me to babysit more.  So the motives of buying me a car seem questionable.  For after that in order to pay for insurance, gas and maintenance, I got a job instead of dance lessons.  Well what about prom and all those other school activities, I didn’t go to prom and went to maybe two games one dance and the end of the year party. If any item was bought outside my own money it HAD to be approved by my mother, “My house, my money, my rules!” she would say.  Again I guess that is why my brothers and sisters left by the age of 16 but I stuck it out.  Even though freshman year of college I went away to live in the dorms she did give me money towards tutition, I was as independent as I could have been, it was my life now.  I don’t know about you but working 4 jobs in order to support yourself while going to college doesn’t seem spoiled.  In addition, either is asking for a loan (outside the immediate family) of $3000 towards a down payment on a condo, of which you paid every cent back being spoiled also.  I worked hard for every item I owned, and wasn’t picky about expenses either.  I had hand me down furniture and a bedroom set for $75.  I didn’t forget this generosity when I moved out too.  I gave my car to my neice and any furniture or other items I didn’t need away.  It was the same with gifts, if I couldn’t use it I give it to someone who could, yes also when I didn’t like it too but again rather than throw it away I would give it to someone who wanted it.  Every student and staff in my classroom was paid for on every trip even if the students parents didn’t have the money by my financial support.  I can’t count the numerous dinners I paid for friends and family.  I always made sure when I had money that people could enjoy it with me.  It was when I started buying tickets to concerts and going by myself from city to city, I started hearing the word spoiled.  Regardless if I bought two tickets, several times in actuality, I could find no one to go with me.  I did have one friend who would for awhile and she would pay for dinner, concerts and plays too but it got to be too much!  I couldn’t keep up and we started arguing about money matters and both paying our fair share.  I ended breaking my friendship with her for that and I found she was getting to into my business.  Every minute she wanted to get together and it started to get controlling and claustrophobic how she hung on me.  My life wasn’t my choice anymore.  She would call my friends and family behind my back, they would decide how I would spend my week not me.  I was suffocating, little did I know she would continue this and so much more and now I live over 2000 miles from her and my family and still seem like I am living under my mothers roof, with her rules.  I am told in passing I don’t get to do what I want to do.  Where did I go wrong? Could someone tell me the definition of independent? 

Which brings me back to Independence Day.  What I thought independence is, it has to be what the American Dream has always been, the land of opportunity, the ability to start a business from a lemonade stand, or buy a house anywhere as long as you had the money, marry the spouse you would like, and work the job of your desire.  If you have that you are living the revolution.  Happy Independence Day or is it just Happy 4th of July, because of those settlers long ago we have the freedom to choose democracy that allows freedom of religion, speech, and equal rights for all.

-Jennie Nawrocki 

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