Wednesday, June 9, 2010

All my own work

I don't suppose anyone is completely independent. No man is an island, but one can have a go at being something like a peninsula, at least. It gives you a handy isthmus that allows you to benefit from being part of the human race without being utterly surrounded and possibly overwhelmed.

At sixteen, I began supporting myself, and I've been doing that ever since. Mom wanted me to marry a nice, well-off chap and participate in the suburban nightmare, but I decided that I didn't want anything I hadn't earned, and I wasn't going to earn anything on my back because there's a name for that.

The other thing that bothered me about this type of material dependence, is that I feared becoming used to a life style that I wouldn't be able to maintain unassisted. I was probably right, but like the girl in the awful Marianne Faithful song, I'll never ride through Paris in a sports car.

I don't think I really regret that or any of the other things that people want and I've never had: things like matching crockery and lounge suites and new(ish) cars. Of course, being materially independent has lead me through some rough waters, or rather, the lack of any water at all. I've lived without drinking water on tap for easily ten years of my life. Mind you, I've also been through at least five floods and two fires. Living in the country isn't all birdies and flowers, you know.

Anyway, the long and the short of it is that I mayn't have much, but what I have, I've earned, and it makes me fiercely proud. I've paid for my education, housing, food and even my mistakes and I can stand back and say: okay, so maybe it isn't wonderful, maybe I haven't much to boast of, but at least its all my own work. No-one carries me, so no-one can let me fall.

I manage a few spectacular wipe-outs all on my own nonetheless...

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