Over the past year and a half, despite ups and downs, I keep finding myself both proud and amazed of the little things I figure out. By nature, I like to have projects on the go. Painting somebody’s toy trunk, updating an old piece of furniture, creating party playlists…I’m a doer. Now, I’m less of a doer than I used to be and I’m definitely less of doer than I was (sometimes) forced to be, but that’s only because I had to learn to focus on me, not just tasks at hand.
That being said, last summer I could’ve used a lot more tasks. This summer there simply weren’t enough hours in the day. It’s so interesting how 1 year later your problems can be completely different. Last year I was stressed at work, this year I was borderline bored. Last year I was melting away in my new apartment wishing for things to do, and there were moments this year I wished I took on a little less!
Either way, I have accomplished a lot on my own. This doesn’t negate that friends, family, and neighbours have helped me of course, but I mean…living on my own. No roommates, no boyfriends. The crap your dad or husband does? Well, I have had to learn to do it.
This has included things both large and small – from learning to use spray sunscreen on my own back to things pretty darn large – like learning how to redneck tie my muffler with a coat hanger. Throughout the last year I have learned how to fix my own internet, call around for car quotes, sand, fill and stain wood, putty in holes, install air conditioners, use a nail gun, relight pilots, silicon my sink, research alloy rim bolt patterns and possibly most impressive for me…..a month or so ago I spent an hour fixing my own brakes on my new bike. This is almost a freaking miracle as I haven’t owned a bike since I was about 15.
But, I used to think I had a pretty decent list even before that. My dad taught me to be somewhat self-sufficient. I could hang my own pictures, paint my own furniture, hook up my own VCR, check my oil and even know how to detail a car…rust and all. Each time my mom and I debate about how busy we are (or how little she thinks my dad does), I have to remind her that those things she takes for granted – my dad cooking, doing registration on her car, filling her gas, fixing the internet, installing the DVD Player, fixing her birdhouse…well, me and a lot of other women don’t necessarily have that luxury. There are more ways to be successful in life and frankly, handling your own life is probably number one. Funnily enough, making another $10,000 or visiting a far away land now seem like less of an accomplishment than learning to clean out the air conditioner filter.
Think long and hard. If you had to name what you were proudest of…what would it be?
I know a lot of strong women, so whether it be emotionally or otherwise – I’m so proud of everyone for all they have accomplished. So, though there are women out there probably a lot handier than me – I have a feeling there are a lot that are less too. Not too long ago I had two boys both tell me how sexy my self-reliance actually was. Just yesterday I had an old friend say, “Well, aren’t you a handy little girl.” It was interesting to think, but I guess an independent women can be both intimidating as well as appealing – I guess it just depends on how secure the lad is. However, I don’t want to be sexist, so if you are a single guy, you can be proud of yourself too. A good friend of mine actually learned about wiring just so he didn’t have to pay somebody to install his chandelier. Even that is a challenge I’m not quite ready to undertake yet…maybe next year.
If there is only one thing in my life that I am proud of, it’s that I’ve never been a kept woman. – Marilyn Monroe
The Ginga Ninja