Will the Scots vote for independence tomorrow? I don’t know. Though I do know the importance of independence for me personally. The first major step was on the day after starting at university, when I went to the city council of my new home town to officially register there. I felt light as a bird, the world at my feet, all options open. Is Scotland feeling this kind of excitement too?
Of course there’s a downside of independence. Independence also means responsibility, no one to hide behind. I suddenly had to take care of my social life, of my finances, of my time schedule. I build my own circle of friends in my new home town, and still felt quite lonely at times. To save money, I put on some extra sweaters instead of turning on the heat; all extra money from my parents was very welcome. Theater and other activities often seemed more important than my study. Now I can say, that I needed all these challenges to learn from, to grow up. It’s part of becoming independent.
As artist you have other challenges on your way to independence. Finding your audience will certainly be one of them, getting better in your songs another one. Making a living with your art is for most artist the most important challenge to independence. When you can’t live from your art (yet), the choice for independence often means that you will have to find a job to balance your finances. Being your own boss can mean that you can’t spent as much time in getting better than you would want to. Another choice could be, to accept the support of your parents. You can spend your time on art, to get as good as you can. But you don’t feel independent as long as you are accountable to them.
Others hold you back
With a friend, I saw that his mother didn’t want him to leave. Her self image was based on being a mother, she was afraid of the empty nest when he would be gone. She was hiding her emotions and fear behind the argument that he wasn’t ready yet. She was telling him about the dangers out there again and again.
The arguments on BBC against an independent Scotland I hear the elite speaking. The elite needs a crowd to follow them, they need people to lead. That’s a big part of their self image. Independence of Scotland means a change in that, and that’s scary. The elite reminds me of the mother of my friend. They exaggerate the ‘dangers out there’, they hide their own fear behind scaremongering the Scots.
Independence – learning from challenges
I still don’t know how the Scots will vote. I’m happy to have taken the step to independence, to becoming my own boss. And when in trouble, there was always someone I could ask for help. Independence isn’t isolation, it’s opportunities, for Scotland too. It’s about excitement and responsibility, about learning from all the challenges we encounter. Aye, independence!