Shannon Philpott-Sanders

Writing, Reflecting, Teaching

Miss Independent

 I love music for its obvious reasons – it helps to trigger memories, it livens up a really dull party and it seems to alter our moods and make us feel something real. Most of all, I love the lyrics. There is nothing more powerful than words that speak directly to your heart accompanied by a melody that soothes the soul.

 Sometimes, though, the lyrics are too real, so real that the words sung make us uncomfortable and distressed, terrorizing the soul with the truth. These brutally honest words make us see who we really are despite who we really want to be.

 For me, the lyrics of a corny pop song cut deep today. It’s not a new song and in fact, I’ve sung along to it many times on the radio. It used to pump me up and make me feel strong, confident and free. But today, when I really listened to the lyrics, the song forced me to take a long, hard look at myself.

             Miss Independent, Miss Self-Sufficient. Miss Keep-Your-Distance. 

            Miss Unafraid. Miss Outta-my-way.

 and so on. Miss Independent. That’s me. Miss “I can do it on my own.” Miss “I must be strong.”

 I love the concept of Miss Independent and I’ve shaped everything I do around the concept of “I can do it on my own.” I’ve always had people in my life who respected my motto and encouraged me to be independent.

 However empowering independence is and how much I truly believe that every man and woman should seek independence, full-blown Miss Outta-my-way independence can lead to a lonely life filled with self-induced pressure.

 Instead of pumping me up today, the lyrics made me feel isolated, bitchesque and vulnerable at the same time. They made me think about how it would be nice to have more of a balance, more of a desire to ask for help when I need it and less pressure to be unafraid.

 Dependent or Independent? Those cannot be the only two choices. I’m searching for the best term to define a combination of the two – I’ll let you know when I find it – both the balance and the term.

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– Shannon Philpott
Blog Entry: Jan. 9, 2010

 © Shannon Philpott, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Shannon Philpott and shannonphilpott.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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January 9, 2010 - Posted by | Blog, Reflecting | , , , , ,

3 Comments »

  1. sounds like my thinking! somewhere between….if u want it done right- do it yourself! and somebody stop me before i volunteer again! i’ve yet to find a happy medium!

    Comment by Missy | January 9, 2010 | Reply

  2. I don’t think being independent necessarily leads to a lonely life, but rather being independent–able to take care of and provide for yourself–opens up choices and opportunities that might not be available if you were dependent upon someone else.

    I took a trip to San Francisco two months ago. I wanted to go, had the time and the money to travel, but no one else I knew did. So, I went by myself and had a great time. Do I like taking trips with others? Of course. But I’m not going to pass up the chance for new experiences just because it means going alone.

    Comment by Debbie Johnson | January 9, 2010 | Reply

  3. Debbie – I am so jealous! I would LOVE to take a trip by myself. I would have taken the opportunity, too. I agree that independence opens up so many doors/opportunities and I wouldn’t trade any of the choices I’ve made. What I struggle with is the pressure of it sometimes, which can lead to loneliness. It is purely self-inflicted pressure. I demand a lot from myself and when I flat-out refuse to ask for help and then struggle, I do feel alone. However, I also love the reward of achieving something on my own. It’s a catch 22 and I’ve yet to find a healthy, personal balance … hence the blog post. It’s more of an inner struggle – I have many 🙂

    Missy – If you find a balance, please share!

    Comment by sphilpott | January 9, 2010 | Reply


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