Throwback Thursday — Independence

Maggie, at From Cave Walls, and by Lauren at LSS Attitude of Gratitude, alternate hosting Throwback Thursday. The idea of the prompt is for them to give us a topic and for us to write a post in which we share our own memories or experiences about the given topic. This week, Maggie chose the topic of “independence,” and she wants to know…

When did you first start to feel independent?

I had a rather unique childhood. I don’t think I was planned. And possibly not even wanted. My father was 42 when I was born and my mother was 37. I had two older sisters, one 15 years older than me and one nine years older. Both of my parents worked and by the time I was ten, both of my sisters were out of the house living their own lives. So, for all intents and purposes, I was an only child.

With both of my parents working full time, I became what used to be called a “latchkey kid.” My father typically left the house each morning by around 6:00 and often didn’t get home until 8 or 9 at night. My mother had to leave for her job by around 8:00 in the morning and didn’t get home until 5:30 or 6. I typically fixed myself a bowl of cereal in the morning and then walked to school (elementary school) or to the bus stop (middle school and high school). I would come home to an empty house after school, fix myself a snack, and then either do my homework or spend time with neighborhood friends until my mother got home from work.

As a result, I learned pretty early in life — at around age ten — to be self-sufficient and independent. That said, I was still dependent upon my parents to provide a roof over my head, food for the table, and clothing for me to wear.

I suppose, though, my true “independence” started when I was 18 and left home for college. My parents, despite both working hard, couldn’t fund the costs of college, so I had to work part time during the school years and full time during the summers to pay for college. It wasn’t a tough transition for me because I had been pretty much on my own for most of my “formative” years even before going off to college.

After graduating from college and graduate school, I was a bit of a loner. I had a lot of friends that I hung out with, but I lived by myself and prized my alone time and privacy. It wasn’t until I was 30 that I met the woman I would marry two years later. I was 33 when our first child was born.

I have no regrets about my growing up situation and I believe that my need to be self-sufficient and independent has served me well. I tried to instill in my kids that being independent in both thought and deed was important and I think that has served them both well in their own adult lives.

And I fully agree with Maggie’s point that independence is learning how to stand on your own, to understand how you fit into the world, and to be responsible for your decisions and actions.

17 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday — Independence

  1. Maggie October 21, 2021 / 11:51 am

    I was a bit of a loner, too, and I suppose I still am to a certain extent. After I divorced, my children were latch-key kids for a while and I always hated that. It was a time before after school programs were put in place so there were not many options. I always regretted it for my children. Your statement “independent in both thought and deed” is much the same way I feel. It was so good to see you take part this week. There’s a lot of wisdom in your post. Thanks for participating.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango October 21, 2021 / 11:54 am

      Thanks for the provocative prompt, Maggie. I’m enjoying what you and Lauren are doing.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Maggie October 22, 2021 / 6:22 am

        That is such a nice comment to hear, Fandango. We are certainly enjoying reading the responses.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. JT Twissel October 21, 2021 / 3:30 pm

    Great post – honest but not self pitying. My step daughter was badly wanted by her parents, doted upon and given the best of everything and she is a mess. I was the oldest and so I always had two younger ones to take care of as well as myself. Did the best I could but they love to tell me what a horrible mother I was to them!! Dinner was often brownies.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. lssattitudeofgratitude October 21, 2021 / 5:36 pm

    Thanks for sharing a bit of your upbringing Fandango. I am glad you participated. My brothers and I were also latchkey kids. It was my norm so I didn’t think too much about it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sadje October 21, 2021 / 5:57 pm

    You good a start in life that has helped you too cope well later on.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Terveen Gill October 22, 2021 / 5:34 am

    A great and inspiring story. Independence is so important. The sooner you learn it the better. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Lolsy's Library October 23, 2021 / 8:59 pm

    When I started to read your story, I felt sad. But then I realised, all of that turned you into the human you are today =D Did you keep in contact with your sisters, or did you all sort of drift apart?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Carol anne October 24, 2021 / 11:23 am

    My best friend in childhood was a latchkey kid! I always thought she had it really tough.
    Its good you learned to stand on your own two feet! it set you up well in life!

    Liked by 1 person

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