Carol - Claudville, Virginia
Entered on May 5, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I believe in independence. I believe that the reason I have persevered thus far in life is because of my independence. I have learned that I could not depend on anyone to help me through life’s hard times except myself. This has been proven to me time and again, through many different situations by many different people through out my life.

One of the first people to teach me this lesson was my brother. He taught me that if I wanted anything in life I had to work for it myself. He taught me this by example. He had to start working when he turned sixteen. It was not because my parents would not help him; it was because he knew that he had to make his own money. He wanted a car and in order to buy one, he had to be able to afford insurance, and the car itself. With this knowledge that if I wanted something, I must get it myself, I continued to learn about how to get things done in my life.

Independence is doing things for yourself and not always depending on others. I was especially taught this about a year and a half ago when I thought that my shunt was malfunctioning. I did research and talked to my doctor in order to find out exactly why I have a shunt and all the information I needed to know, in order to take care of myself in future years. About five months after my eighteenth birthday my shunt cracked. I knew there was a problem with it but I ignored it after the doctor told me that the shunt was not the cause for the problem because I no longer needed it. Six months after my shunt cracked I went to the emergency room because I knew that it had finally broken and that I needed it. When the doctor told me that my shunt was broke I thought that I would go straight into surgery and get it fixed. I wish that would have happened. Instead, I spent the next two months waiting for the doctor to determine if I needed it and trying to get the hospital to pay for surgery. During these two months I only gave my parents answers and hardly ever asked them questions about what to do next. In fact they asked me questions. This taught me that I was the best advocate for myself, and that I had to be independent, and rely on myself in order to survive this world. Independence is more than just a character trait for some people, for some, it is a way to survive, which makes it a very important thing to believe in.

Independence is a great thing to have and everyone should be at least partially independent. Being independent can help a person to become a successful adult and help an adult get the things he/she deserves in life.