This I Believe: Independence

“I’d rather die my way than live yours.”

—Lauren Oliver

I believe in independence.

Even the earliest of triumphs, such as learning how to walk, are the result of you willing to be independent.

I believe we are called individuals for a reason.

When I work hard for what I want, I feel empowered to do more and appreciate it so much. This allows me to take pride in every little accomplishment and gives me a greater sense of self. Rather than giving others control over how I choose to live my life, I believe in keeping that control to myself because I know myself best.

My parents grew up in a time and culture where gender roles were given high importance to by all. The man of the family earns and provides for his wife, who stays at home and cares for the children. Despite this, my mother was lucky enough to have parents who acknowledged knowledge as a foundation of independence, saying “just in case” whenever others asked what could possibly be the purpose of spending money on educating their daughter all the way to university. It was assumed that her husband would work, and it was hard for them to fathom this “just in case” concept.

Her parents were right. Ever since getting marriage, she’s been travelling with her journalist husband, adjusting to wherever his job would take him: around Europe, the Middle East, and now Canada. Instead of being constrained by her lack of knowledge of the dissimilar world around her, her parents gave her that boost from the very beginning, making her capable to work as a teacher in more than one country. She inspires me in the sense that even with English not being her strongest feat, she managed to travel to foreign countries as an adult and study again in order to become a full time teacher. My mother has an air of responsibly and confidence and sincerity— because she knows no matter what happens, she is independent and free.

As a first-generation immigrant, I struggle constantly with the pressure of conforming to either the Pakistani culture of my parents’, or the Westernized, more appealing culture of where I currently live. I hope I will one day be independent enough to not let these two cultures pressure  me, and have the strength to instead pave my own “grey” path between these black and whites.

Since I have received the fortune of growing up in a liberated society where you can have the reigns of your life in your own hands, I aspire to be even more independent than my mother in the sense that I comprehend it is an immensely valued trait sooner than she did.

I believe one can accomplish so much more independently than they ever could dependently. I want to walk into the real world prepared, knowledgeable, and standing on my own two feet.

Not holding anyone’s hand.

This I believe.


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3 thoughts on “This I Believe: Independence

  1. Dear Ayisha,

    You mentioned at the beginning of your blog that “When I work hard for what I want, I feel empowered to do more and appreciate it so much.”, but I feel as though you should know that after readers have had the pleasure of reading your blog post, you have in fact managed to empower them.

    Your blog seriosuly empowered me. After reading it, I had a sense of pride in humanity and the individual strength and perseverance it takes to come out on top in the fight for living a successful and meaningful life. I think when people read words such as yours, there is a relentless nagging that takes place in one’s soul. A hunger that is demanding to be fed with the drive to succeed and fight for what you want in this life. I don’t know how to describe it. But I feel as though you have an incredible gift to send an indescribable feeling of drive and motivation to readers. This all being in addition to an incredible ability to bring out “the fighter” in a person by simply describing your belief of being a strong and independent individual. It’s remarkable how you’re able to convey these thoughts and experiences to a reader with such ease.

    By tying a personal example with your belief, I feel as though you strengthened the overall piece by allowing us an insight as to who you are, and your goals/aspirations as to what kind of person you would like to become. I really appreciated that aspect of your blog, it was great! I also felt that as I was reading it, I had an overwhelming sense of Canadian pride suddenly wash over me. To be able to live in such a country where freedom of choice is valued, cultural diversities and identities are appreciated, and having a strong and unique sense of indpendence and individuality is respected is a privilege.

    Congratulations on such an eye-opening blog post that will surely effect many in a positive way. Also, best of luck with paving your grey path. I feel like you should be able to do it with ease, I sense you are a strong individual that works incredibly hard to get what you want out of life. Thank you for sharing some of your brain with us.


  2. Hello I am Lucas from Mr. Avelar’s English 10 Honours class from the International School of Panama. I am truly inspired by the story of your family and their hard-work that has led them through several countries in a search for a better life. You have great use of diction that truly emphasizes your message about hard work and independence. Nevertheless, I hope you truly achieve your goals in life and gain your personal independence.

  3. Dear Ayisha,

    Hello, I am Juan from Mr. Avelar’s English 10 Honours class from the International School of Panama. I am astonished and greatly inspired by your parents life and story; the places they go, what they do and how they are morally shaped. I too believe that independence is a fundamental pillar for the growth and expansion of any human being; therefore I strongly believe you will walk prepared in this world and have the necessary knowledge to succeed in it. I also hope you will one day find the balance and harmony you are looking for between both cultures. Independence is key and this essay emphasised it greatly and correctly. Great work!

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