Tuesday, June 16, 2015

What Personal Independence Means to Me

So before I fall off the wagon (totally out of context) of not writing again, and as much as I resolved never to mix work with this blog, here I am sharing something I wrote for work. I really was not in the writing mood over the weekend, so I hope to get a pass for repurposing content (It's what I do).

The article blurb says A young woman's narrative of finding her own meaning to freedom like Movie Trailer Guy is reading it out loud, but this is totally me. I asked my manager not to give me a byline and not show my photos because I am shy that way, but I am totally adding photos here for reference.

Please read below the cut if you are so inclined.

A Journey to Personal Independence

Freedom comes in different forms and meaning for every individual. For our forefathers, the Philippine flag waving unchallenged in June 12, 1898, at the patio of Emilio Aguinaldo's house in Imus, Cavite, meant independence from our Spanish oppressors.

avon zamboanga maraisms on instagram

For the Avon Representatives whom I’ve met in my various functions working in Avon Philippines, freedom for them means being empowered to earn for their families, to be free from debt, to be free from worrying about the future.

Each Avon Representative has her own version of HERstory (HIStory for our few good Avon Men). Each journey is unique but every path leads to an inspiring narrative of success, to a woman’s own financial and personal independence. Having heard their stories encouraged me to reflect on my own passage to personal independence and I would like to share them with you in this article, hoping that you, too, can find your path to your own independence.

de la salle university manila graduation maraisms on instagram

For my then 19-year-old self, graduating means freedom from homework, freedom from strict teachers, and freedom from the daily routine of a typical college student. Little did I know that like everything else, freedom comes with a price. Yes, I have the time to do I as I please but it also means I have to fend for my own – using what’s left of my allowance to go out with friends and purchase the things I want, all these while job hunting.

It didn’t take long before my allowance was exhausted and I had to ask my parents for support – lunch money, car rides to job interviews, and the occasional-turned-weekly asking for wardrobe allowance. My short-lived, sought-after independence was gone after a few weeks because I was reckless.

manila international airport authority
One of my curriculars as a researcher was to do corporate communication materials. This was once made into a billboard along Paranaque. It stayed up until I left my job. LOLz.

I got my first job as researcher soon after. It felt great to be finally free of my parents’ stipend. I felt infinite – I bought an entirely new work wardrobe and exhausted my month’s salary in a day of shopping. Come Monday, I was back to stretching my weekly budget of bringing packed lunch to work, again care of my mother’s good heart. Again, I became a prisoner of my own doing and money is my tyrant.

wizarding world of harry potter hogwarts osaka japan.jpg
I gave a high five to my Past Self for working hard and bringing Present Self to Hogwarts.

Eventually, I learned to manage my finances better (saving at least 10% of your salary is the key) and I saved enough to travel on my own, to go on casual shopping trips, and to eventually move out of my parent’s house.

Living on your own is an experience every young woman should aspire for to get a sense of independence. But like every bright-eyed lad’s dream comes the realization of monthly association dues, groceries, laundry, and housekeeping, exactly the things I felt chained to when I moved in the city on my own. There are times I wished I was back in my parent’s house where everything is free but at what cost? Yes, I’ll live a more comfortable life, but I will have missed out on exploring the city on my own, missed out on learning the value of back-breaking household labor, and missed out on the opportunity to make it in life on my own.

One of my favorite views.
Independence means differently to each person. Through the years of seeking independence, I have learned that freedom is not absolute. You have to constantly fight for it, make sacrifices to attain it, and make your own definition of it to truly treasure your journey to independence.

Originally posted on http://bit.ly/BFAP

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