My dad once asked me what I valued most in the world. He asked me to write it down and give it to him. (He’s odd like that.)
I never did. Not because I resented my parents (which was often true back then, let’s be honest) but because I really didn’t know.
His earlier question was easy enough to answer. What is the most important thing?
Love, of course.
My brother went for Truth, by the way.
But this one…I thought about it. And I could not come up with a definitive answer.
A while later, he called me out on it. You never gave me a reply, he said. But I think I know what it is. You value your independence, more than anything else.
The plan was always to leave home upon graduating from high school and starting university. I ended up leaving a year and a half before that. It wasn’t pretty. It wasn’t easy. It wasn’t planned that way. It was messy, conspicuous and no doubt caused gossip among the neighbours. And a lot changed for me after that. To the casual observer, it might seem that I might as well just have moved back in.
But it went much deeper than that. Barring major catastrophe, I know that I will never again live with my parents. I will do whatever it takes to stand on my own two feet. Even accepting a graduation gift (cash) from them was very difficult to come to terms with. I never ask for help (and I am aware that is not always something to be proud of, by the way); I find ways to manage on my own. I have given a lot to BF, but never to the point of jeopardising my own stability. A little part of me has an irrational fear of ending up on the street (although I know it won’t happen). It’s why I’m so set on having a solid emergency fund in the bank.
Eventually, I realised he was right. The funny thing was, he knew me better than I knew myself. We may have very little in common, but some things, I suppose, are passed down.
Independence. Essentially, that was, I think, the root of all our problems. The result: I became fully independent earlier than I bargained. And I embraced it. I was born for it. To make my own decisions, to answer to myself.
Now I’m starting to wonder, can one ever be truly independent working for someone else? I love having a steady job, great colleagues, regular pay. I love not having to chase payments or seek out clients.
I read a lot of blogs. Some touch on, or even focus on, escaping the 9-5 and lifestyle design. I’m also following a lot of blogs about freelancing, particularly in the writing field. At this stage, that’s not for me. In fact, freelancing is slowly starting to take up more and more of my time…and I’m going to have to draw a line in the sand.
But increasingly I’m wondering: Should this be something I actively work towards? I’m not saying never, especially as I don’t know if I’d want to work full time when we have kids one day…but is putting most of my eggs in the employee basket going to hurt in the long run?
What are your thoughts? Is working for a corporation ever the best answer?