[ Nellie N Manpoong ]
There will come a time when many of us who have lived sheltered lives with our families will have to finally step out of the house and start living on our own. The reasons can vary – from studying at a different place to being posted at a far-off location for work.
If you have arrived at such a situation, then there is a high probability that all of us share some similar, if not the exact, feelings. Here are a few struggles of trying to live by yourself:
The right apartment is always wrong: Finding an apartment on rent is considerably easier when you are in a large city in India. Estate brokers show you a few houses, and you pick the one that fits your requirement and budget.
The same rules don’t apply in a small town, though, and if you are in a hurry to find a rented room or apartment by yourself, you might end up with one that has several flaws, such as parking and water issues, and high rent charges.
After a few months of complaining to your family and friends, you learn to live with all the problems and wish you had checked everything before making the hasty decision. You also start where you had begun and are on the lookout for a new apartment, again.
The mighty chores :This is where one of the seven deadly sins takes over your body – sloth.
Since you live by yourself without anyone to help you out with the chores, you tend to leave most of the housework for ‘later’. If you cook, you don’t want to clean after, and when you clean you don’t want to cook. You have probably lived on instant noodles and the bread-egg combo for days when there was too much work, or you were too tired (read lazy) to cook.
If you are ill-experienced in the culinary arts, you start ordering takeouts from restaurants, making it difficult to save up cash.
Scared much: Having a room or an apartment all to yourself is a wonderful time to ponder your thoughts, or work on some project without any distractions.
However, you will have the occasional crazy yet valid thoughts.
Every sound coming from the other room (in an empty house) will make you jump. The fears may range from a thief or assaulter breaking in, or getting a stroke in the middle of the night and dying – and occasionally the fear of monsters under your bed (this is where the crazy comes in).
Fortunately, the signs of mild phonophobia get muffled by the noise of the television or binge-watching reruns of your favourite series on your laptop. Sounds of neighbours arguing or partying also help at times.
Accepting the silence: Moving closer to your college or work also means moving away from friends and family. You tend to enjoy the occasional ‘Me’ time, but having someone to talk to while you work, or even watching a little television, makes for a good time, if not better.
The silence might be deafening at times, but it teaches you that not everything has to be spoken about at all times. And you start to enjoy your own company.
Using the ‘me’ time: Does living by yourself mean you have all the time in the world to do what you love?
Well, that’s a straight up ‘no’.
After you come back from college or work, you have to tend to the household chores, and your hobbies usually start taking a backseat.
The guitar you thought you’d learn to rip like a rock star hasn’t been taken out of its cover for over a week; the ingredients for that dessert recipe you looked up on the internet are still in the fridge; you can’t find the book you thought you’d complete and you give up all hope of finding it.
The final inference: These are only a few things that trouble people living by themselves. Everyone gradually learns to coordinate between cooking and cleaning, and even find the perfect house that suits all their needs.
Having the luxury of an entire bed to yourself and sleeping-in in your worst pyjamas; not having to put up with an annoying roommate, or worrying about that big bar of chocolate disappearing when you reach home are only a few perks of living by yourself.
And as clichéd as it may sound, the best part of living alone is that you don’t have to pretend to be someone you’re not. Living alone teaches you that you really can do it all on your own (well, almost all of it).