It means everything falls to me now.
If the sink has the dastardly nerve to leak, I figure out if it's something easily fixable, or whether a professional (ie. apartment maintenance) needs to be notified.
It's my job to keep up on my car's fluids. And not to forget to check tire pressure. Wash the whole thing, too.
Money? It's what I earn, and only what I earn.
There is no one else to make business-type phone calls. (And I hate making business-type phone calls.)
The hanging of pictures and wall things falls to me, even though I'm not good with measuring and centering and leveling. (I am quite good with a hammer and various tools, though, I'll give me that.)
When I end up with 1-ply toilet paper (dangitall), I have no one to blame but myself.
And lots of little things I'm learning about living on my own.
Independence means I'm learning how to take charge.
I'm learning it's okay to go with my first instinct, no second-guessing, because it is whatever I want, and right now a lot is all about me.
I can listen to the radio, and, when my kids are with their dad, sing the unedited versions of the songs, if I want.
I can have chocolate ice cream for breakfast. Or a toasted turkey sandwich. And make whatever it is that sounds good to not-picky-me for dinner. It's totally my call.
I can stay up until 1 AM, first watching a movie (KILLERS with Ashton Kutcher and Katherine Heigl is adorable), and then reading a book that makes me cry like an eediot.
I can rebel and not brush my teeth, because I'm a free-thinking grown-up. (Even if I decide to do it anyway, because I do like having a clean and pretty mouth.)
I can come and go as I please. Lollygag. Walk around naked. Leave dirty dishes in the sink. Because there is no one to answer to but me.
Independence means lots of little things I'm learning about living on my own.