Celebrate Your Independence

Fourth of July… Not my absolute favorite holiday, but a holiday nonetheless and I looooove holidays. The family, the friends, the food, getting together to celebrate. And tomorrow, we are celebrating our country’s Independence Day… and for me, this particular 4th of July is pretty special!

I moved out to L.A. mid-July last year, and I did it all on my own. I had my parents moral support, but I didn’t have (or need) their financial support to get me out here. I worked all summer, at two different jobs, and saved up enough money to make the move. Sure, they still helped me out every once in a while, but for the most part, I have been able to fully support myself for a year in a city that I thought would eat me alive. And seeing as though I’m only twenty-years-old, I think that’s pretty cool.

Independence is an awesome thing, and I think too often it’s unappreciated, especially with younger generations. Whether it’s financial independence or just overall individuality, the value of independence is lost on so many young people today. My older sister, who is two months shy of turning 24, has never paid her own rent, or relied on a job for spending money, let alone an income. She is living in New York City, working at entry level jobs she doesn’t seem to value. While her drive to be a successful fashion designer is definitely there, she isn’t motivated to be financially independent because she just doesn’t understand how independence correlates with success.

In a country where so many young people are dependent on their parents well into their twenties, my sister definitely isn’t alone in her lack of independence… and I don’t necessarily think she is really to blame. The time period when young adults move out of the house and get their first job has been extended because of factors such as additional schooling, or low-paid or unpaid internships that are needed to get that first “real” job. So it is much more acceptable for a 25 year-old to be living off their parents’ dime.

Maybe I’m just cynical because I don’t understand how my sister can be satisfied letting our parents support her instead of working and living on her own… but this trend seems so wrong to me. I find it odd, that in America, where we go all out to celebrate our country’s independence, we kind of forget about celebrating our own. So tomorrow, while you’re cookin’ hot dogs and hamburgers and watching fireworks, grab yourself a sparkler and salute your independence… because, it’s definitely worth celebrating.