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Published on December 13th, 2017 | by Jones


The moments you earn your independence

When we’re younger, all we want to be is older. When we’re older, all we want to be is independent. And when we’re old, all we want to be is young and independent.

So, what it all comes down to is independence. And there are different moments in which we earn our independence. Moments that we may not always acknowledge as steps towards independence, but actually are.

So, if you’ve been craving that feeling of independence, there’s a chance you already have it. You just need to acknowledge and own it.


At your 21st, the symbolic gift is that of a key. A key to symbolise the doors that will be opened in your life, be it family, career, furthering your education or even immigration. It’s basically a key to symbolise your future independence and where you can possibly be going.  

But, before you get there, your parents might give you a set of keys to the house – remote and all. And that is a moment of independence – being able to come and go as you please. Which is, obviously, a lot easier when you have your own car as well.


Which leads us to another moment of independence: getting your first car. Now you can really go wherever you want to, see your friends whenever and wherever you can, and drive away in the middle of an argument at home (you probably shouldn’t do that, though).

Your car and your keys put your life in your own hands and you are responsible for what happens thereafter. If you have responsibilities, you can trust that you need independence to carry them out because no one is going to just do things for you when you start reaching a capable age.

Self-made appointments

The more difficult part of learning independence is figuring out how to deal with it. Up until now, your parents have pretty much done everything for you, including making doctor’s appointments.

Let’s accept the fact that we’ll never know what it is about calling a doctor, dentist or other medical practitioner’s office that makes our hearts beat out of our chest. But that’s is generally the case.

When you get older, you become responsible for your wellbeing and if you don’t make the appointment to consult a skin doctor about that weird rash, your arm might fall off. Okay, so it won’t fall off, but you can’t think that you’ll be okay with the worst case scenario just so that you don’t have to call and make an appointment.

With your own set of keys and your own car, you can drive yourself to a self-made appointment. You have the ability to ask questions about the things you don’t understand and do everything your parents once did for you. And when you’ve done it once, you’ll realise it’s actually not as bad or as daunting a task as you thought it was.

First paycheque

This is where the fun part of independence comes in (as well as the reality of responsibility). When you get your first paycheque, you can spend it on whatever you want, as long as you have enough to pay all your monthly debit orders.

Regardless of responsibility, there is a great amount of independence found in the ability to spoil yourself and a friend to lunch without having to ask your parents for a contribution. And then you get to the bonus months where you can “treat yo’ self”. And don’t be surprised when you get more excited about apartment and home items over clothing, it’s just another phase in the independent movement.

Move out

Now, when you move out and get the keys to your own place, you know you’ve reached a new level of independence. When you can figure out how to cook for yourself, clean after yourself, use the washing machine, iron all your laundry and pay your rent and utility bills, you can consider yourself an independent individual.


You know you’re really growing up and building independence when you start paying your own bills and shopping around for insurance. With all the insurance companies out there, it’s not always easy to decide. But, luckily, you can research everything you need to know and want to have in a policy before you start “browsing”.

Many insurance companies, like African Unity Life, have comprehensive information on their website with regards to what they have to offer and how they can help you. This makes your life that much easier and once you have your insurance policy in the bag, you’ve made some serious independence-progress.

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A keen writer, giving advice about work and life.

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