I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T, do you know what that means?

Long ago, in the dark ages, also known as 2007, Louisiana rappers Lil’ Boosie & Lil’ Phat released the cult classic and eternal NPHC stroll off anthem: “INDEPENDENT.” The song literally spells out the word ‘independent’ while simultaneously praising self-sufficient women who work hard, buy their own cars, and own their own homes.

Like Boosie and Phat, I, too, praise independent women, but over the years, I’ve learned that independence, like life, is what I make it.  Independence is relative. For women, autonomy isn’t limited to home ownership or the ability to buy things. In my opinion, independence is the ability to be a free thinker, take ownership of one’s path, and to be confident in one’s personal and professional choices.

According to the standard Merriam-Webster dictionary, independence is:

  • freedom from outside control

With the definition above in mind, I must ask myself a question.  If independence means freedom from outside control, then who is in control? I am! Ask Janet Jackson, I bet you $10 she will tell you the same thing. Now, ask yourself the question. If independence means freedom from outside control, then who is in control? Let me help you with the answer… you are!

In my early twenties, I spent a lot of time equating independence to monetary mobility and material things, but that made me lose control and confidence.  As I said earlier, independence is all relative. Everyone’s freedom is different. Some feel independent after purchasing a brand new car and others feel independent after booking an epic solo trip. Me? I feel pretty darn independent since blogging, which is something that I should have started 10 years ago.  Even as it relates to work, I feel fiercely independent. Professionally, I travel around the country (alone) to places that some folks would never have on their destination list, and I know quite a few homeowners, sports car drivers, and side hustlers who couldn’t do that, some have even said that to me!

Now that I’ve reached the final year of my roaring twenties, I won’t let society, pop culture, or friends dictate the meaning of independent womanhood.  Instead, I vow to willingly embrace the beautiful fact that I am in control.

Oh, and here is a bit of nostalgia for you…