“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment”

I have always been independent and more than capable of standing on my own two feet, at first because I really had no other choice and then because I’ve grown to love the freedom that self-reliance brings. Choosing independence means you have to rely on and trust your own capabilities, judgment or resources.

I strongly back ‘individualism’, the importance of thinking for oneself and living an ‘experiential’ life. My childhood was lived amongst a web of deceit and manipulation, driving me to question everything I had ever been taught. This, in turn, evolved into me drawing on the knowledge and expertise all around me but coming to my own intuitive decisions about what I believed, rather than simply accepting other people’s ideas. It makes no difference to me whether my actions are praised or ignored – the important thing is to act independently.

As a society, I often question whether or not we are really making progress? With the service industry booming, technology advancing like never before and our relentless pursuit of material wealth, we seem to be more dependent on others than ever before and losing our ability to perform the most basic of tasks as well as losing sight of certain types of wisdom.

The other day, I shuddered when I saw someone buying a bag of pre-diced onions and a microwavable dish of ready-mashed potatoes – all at a premium. What is happening to us?! I just imagined our ancestors sitting in their caves, around their campfires waiting for their next delivery of ready-grated cheese to garnish their pre-mashed potatoes with… ridiculous!

Now, I’m not about to abandon my smart phone, laptop and head off on my horse and cart to live a self-sufficient life in a field at this moment in time but I am working towards achieving a better sense of balance between old and new. The evolution of the world around us does not seem consistent with improvements in the abilities of physical human beings, in a lot of cases I feel it is dumbing us down.

At the risk of being misunderstood and labelled by those around me, I chose to place truth before politeness, value integrity more than security and abandon insincerity in favour of honesty (and on top of that, I mash my own potatoes!). There are still times where I battle with the urge to remain consistent with past actions and beliefs, which I know will prevent me from becoming the best version of myself and for me. With a slightly rebellious individualism, my life will be a conscious evolution of ideas, an ever-changing haphazard journey and I will grow with the flow of my own experiences.

“Make the most of yourself… For that is all there is of you”