It happened! It finally happened. You got the courage to go up to your parents and tell them that you wish to experience the real world in your terms, without them, and that you got the job of your dreams in a different city! Everything goes fine, really fine up until the time you realise the more prominent nuances of living on your own.
If you’re someone who has been living alone all their lives or someone who just started, here are the six things that happen when you move out of your home, the city you’ve always lived in, or the country.
#1. The baggage:
Shifting cities, countries or even localities can get tough regarding the baggage you’re allowed to move away. As much as you’d want to, pets are not something you can readily shift with, so is your favorite mattress, your pillows, and your mom.
I remember the day I had to pack for my big shift to a different city. I planned and had a list of what I wanted and what I can buy later, eventually two days before my flight my luggage looked like it would blow up into pieces.
The baggage is not something you can get rid of imminently. In fact, if you came with one huge bag, it’ll be 3 when you plan your next shift. This is anyway just the physical luggage I’m talking about. The emotional baggage is something that will suck the life out of you.
#2. You start enjoying your sudden, new found freedom…until:
What do you do after your shift to a new city? EXPLORE! Because let’s be honest, there are no rules, nobody to monitor your actions, nobody to set deadlines for you, or shut you out because you were late.
The only thing is, whatever I just said only happens if you have a ‘HOME’ of your own, and parents who think and understand that you can be self-dependent. So yeah, your explorations are limited, really limited and even though you’re 20-something there will be rules- set by the tenant, by the society you live in and by your parents, because ‘humare ghar ki ladkiya raat bhar bahar nahi rehti.’
So be prepared to say ‘No’ to every after-office parties, birthday parties and every occasion you’re ever invited to that would require you to stay beyond 9 P.M until people stop inviting you.
(Exceptions: You’re Usain Bolt, you’re a man, the party is in the apartment next to you, your tenant, the society, and parents forget about your existence.)
#3. You learn new things, and you get hurt:
Living alone teaches you to be independent. You have to shop for yourself, wash clothes on your own, in most cases also cook for yourself. But let me tell you something; if you think you’ll be given a handbook on how to go about living 24-hours in a city you’ve never been to, you’re wrong.
You will get cheated, in some cases by people you buy stuff from and you’d eventually learn how to bargain and where to buy stuff from. Your clothes will smell like detergent most of the time, and your body will itch because you’ve now been thrown out of your maid-entitled life and into the real world. You’ll understand soon, that washing clothes is an art and finding an empty washing machine in your hostel requires mathematical observation.
#4. You start appreciating the food you’re given:
Remember all those times back home when you picked up those green beans, and just threw them out when mom wasn’t looking? Or simply denied a serving of delicious home cooked dal makhni, because you were already full from KFC?
The first few days will seem like a dream, where you get to eat everything you want. Let it pass, because a few weeks down the line you’d be running at the very sight of another KFC joint down the street. Your eyes will tear up every time your colleague opens up a dabba of home cooked food, and you’d do anything to get a taste of your mom’s cooked food.
But for the time being you settle for Swiggy and average hostel food. Appreciating the green beans now are we?
#5. Emotional video calls:
Video calling is the greatest human invention! Imagine coming back home after a long day at work, where in a general scenario your mom would make it liveable by running her hand through your head. You get that same feeling from miles away.
An average video call for an Indian woman living alone involves- her dad judging the way the room is kept so neatly, her mom crying, and her cat cutely ignoring the hell out of her.
When you get just about 15 minutes of facetime, once a week, you understand just how hard it is to live alone.
You open your laptop to look for flight tickets, but the website readily flashes a huge signboard saying ‘Paise nahi hai.’
#6. You learn to let things go:
All this while living on your own makes you strong on the inside, and you learn to let things go. You learn when and how to take a stand for yourself; you stop judging people, you learn to get out there and show the world what you’re made of. You finally realize, moving out was the best thing that has ever happened to you.
After you’re done basking in your new found purpose, reminiscing about the time you first shifted away from home, or just thinking how hard it is to live alone. You’ll be turning to the corner of your bed with a bottle of wine and cry because you ordered KFC for the 20th time this week.
Are you someone who’s a pro at living alone?
Or are you a little birdie like me?
Don’t tell me you’re an egg waiting to hatch and tell your parents about your plans.
Whichever phase of ‘moving out’ you’re in right now, drop a comment about your experience of moving out for the first time.
People getting home-cooked food, please send me some. I will eat all your green veggies. JUST GIVE ME HOME FOOD!