In the summer of 2001 my sixteen year old self, soon-to-be old High School senior was gettin’ down to Destiny’s Child’s “Independent Women”. I had my first job at Long John Silvers and every two weeks I was proud of my $214.00 checks. The song “Independent Women” was my theme song that summer and the following months into my senior year, no one couldn't stop me, I felt like I had my whole life planned. I remember thinking that adulthood was gonna be a piece of cake. At the time I would spend my money on clothes, shoes,and minutes for my prepaid cell phone with cingular wireless. I had no idea what was to come eighteen years later.
In 2019 what is considered to be an “independent” woman? In LA the average college graduate makes, $40,004 a year after taxes, for a 1 bdrm apartment in the city is $1750 per month, after bills that leaves you sixty-seven dollars in your account. This doesn't include children. No wonder why the homeless rate is up twelve percent from the previous year in LA county, yet my parents generation and baby boomers are confused why we aren't having children. Birth rates have been at its lowest in thirty-two years and I understand why, no one can afford to live here especially when more than half of your income goes to rent alone. There are thousands maybe millions of independent women a paycheck away from homelessness. I always tell my single girlfriends without children to not have children anytime soon or to not have children at all in this economy. I tell them to travel the world instead. I always hear “Move to a different city, or state” I've heard it all, but jobs are here in the major metropolitan areas. I could not find my current job in my small hometown or any other small town where the cost of rent is half of what I currently pay.
I can identify as an independent woman, but it’s definitely not as glamorous as Destiny’s Child sung about. Being a single adult leaves you no choice but to be an independent woman. Some of us don't have a pillow to fall back on in case we fail, we have concrete. I don't judge when people still live at home with their parents, if anything I envy them. I'm over here surviving and the people who live with parents get to live rent free and go to concerts, eat at great restaurants, and travel. The clothes i’m wearing I bought them, The shoes i’m wearing I bought them, the house I live in i’m paying for someone else's mortgage. Maybe Destiny’s Child was trying to make light of the struggles of adulting, or maybe preparing young women for the future by letting us know all the stuff we need to buy on our own once we are adults and without the help of our parents. Being an independent single mother/woman in 2019 is closer to Destiny’s Child’s “Survivor” than “Independent Women” cause ladies we cannot give up!