Living alone comes with its share of pros and cons. While there’s freedom involved, there’s also responsibility. For some, the solo lifestyle is a choice; for me, it wasn’t...
Considering the fact that I’d lived with my family for as long as I could remember; the thought of living without them was something that I’ve never even contemplated. Until that fateful time finally came. My dad is a shippie. He’s travelled all over the world and spends most of his life at sea. You probably know that the ocean is a calm and quiet space to be. So whenever he would return to Mumbai, it would be hell for him. The unbearable traffic noises, the innumerable people and the chaos of the city troubled him immensely. He would desperately crave a break from it. That’s why whenever he’d come to land, he’d stay for a week in Mumbai and then take my mom off to our native farmhouse in Gujarat and stay there for months. It’s just so much more peaceful there. I have a sister too, but she got married last year. She has a new life now, and I can’t always expect her to be around all the time.
My point is, everyone has their own calling at the end of the day, and I couldn’t be selfish enough to come in between them and their happiness for mine. Right from my childhood, my family has always supported me and helped me achieve my dreams. Living independently and giving them their space was the least I could do for them. Even though the idea of staying alone freaked me out, I was determined to give it a shot!
Without my parents, sister, friends or a boyfriend to keep a tab on my life, I had to figure out my own path and, most importantly, look after myself. To be honest, it was a struggle at first. Cooking, cleaning and handling my workload at office, all at the same time, was - I can assure you - no fun at all. However, after a couple of months, I began to get the hang of it. For instance, I sucked at cooking, I much preferred ordering in instead; but thanks to watching plenty of YouTube food tutorials, I learnt a few basic dishes. I started sacrificing my morning sleep to get my chores done so that I could make it to office on time. I shopped for groceries on my own, learnt how to pay my own bills from scratch, and do my bank work by asking around in the bank.
Even though I did it all alone, I never felt stressed. In fact, I felt proud of myself. I felt that there was nothing I couldn’t do if I didn’t set my mind to it. I suddenly began to feel than I didn’t need anyone to make me feel safe or secure. I could do that myself.
I have other relatives who live in Mumbai, but none of them ever picked up the phone to ask me if I was okay or if I needed any help with anything. The only time they did give me a buzz was when they wanted to pass on some gossip about our extended family. Which is something I have no time or energy for. I try my best to keep away from them - it’s better that way. They do their thing, and I do mine.
I’ve learnt to stop expecting help from people and start doing things on my own. I want to be my own hero. Taking care of myself and performing my best at work - this is success to me. Seeing the transition from the naive girl I used to be to the self-sufficient person I’ve become today is actually quite an amazing feeling!
Always depending on other people to help you out only leads to you being shy or afraid of risks. Sometimes, you’ve got to put yourself out there and be open to what life throws at you. The universe does this to you only to make you stronger and discover your own self. Today, when I look back, I’m happy my parents gave me the chance to experience what independence really is like.
Living solo is not only about having the whole house to yourself and throwing a party every other night. It’s about maintaining your home and taking good care of yourself. Look at this way - if you don’t, who will? :-)
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Published on Sep 23, 2015