Independence – What does it actually mean?

This is my second post on VieHebdomadaires and I should thank Varun for having given me an opportunity to write my thoughts out. I have been following the blogs for sometime and many have pushed me to think deeper into myself. Recently, I read the blog – Cursed with empathy by Anna Shtorm. I could relate to the every feeling mentioned in the blog. The article threw me into a realm of thoughts and replays of life situations. I have so often felt I am living an unreal life – A life that has more importance to everyone or everything around me, more than me. But I never let my mind ponder too much on those thoughts, thinking there were just negative thoughts that keep popping in once in a while.
But this time the thoughts racing through my mind built an urge, a need to find the complete meaning of the word – Independence. So I GOOGLED IT!!! Obviously I ended up finding many synonyms to this word, but there were few that I found were close to the current context. Few of them were autonomy, self-determination, self-reliance, self-sufficiency, sovereignty. All of these words made sense, but still there was something missing in the definition. So I got around to learning the meaning the way we were taught to learn new words when we were in school.

I split the word INDEPENDENCE into IN ‘+’ DEPENDENCE and this is the meaning I came up with – Limitation (as of situation, condition, relation) ‘to’ Relying on / needing someone or something (OR) state of being conditional to something.
Now, after I have found this meaning, I begin to wonder if this is the state I really am in? – A state where I don’t have to rely on or be conditional to something. I am not sure if I am really Independent… Anna Shtorm in her article says she often finds herself adapting or moulding herself in accordance to her audience. Does that not mean being in a state of being conditional to something? This also reflects the need to rely on the external stimuli to shape the ‘me’ for the particular situation. Is this real Independence?
To me and many around, Independence meant being capable of taking care of oneself, no or not much elderly interference in life, and many other similar phrases. Being the youngest in the family, I was the spoilt one. My parents, brother and sister ‘pampered’ me; they took care of all my need and fancies as well. I am not complaining about the love and attention I got, I still cherish the feelings. But gradually, I started feeling the need to break free… which I at that time,  defined as becoming Independent. Today, as I write this I am an Independent individual, defined the few phrases mentioned earlier.
But when I ponder further, I realise that I am actually not Independent. I seem to have been more Independent when I was DEPENDENT of my folks. Especially when I try to match it with the real essence of the word INDEPENDENCE…
I suppose it is time to Break Free into Real INDEPENDENCE 🙂