Ok. I have to take a diversion from my not-going-anywhere Europe travelogues to turn to more pressing problem.
I have to move. My flatmate is being transferred (to London btw, and yes lucky her!) and I have to find a new place. I have for some time now been wanting to change apartments – we have put up with the same place, same cranky owner, same maid, same area for too long and a change is warranted. So this was an opportunity and I couldn’t chicken out on laziness.
The question now was – should I find a place all by myself? So I decided to do a survey and this was what I found out –
1. It would be way too lonely in the evenings and weekends. The evenings drag too long with no one to talk to.
This probably was not meant for people who work 14 hours a day, have dinner with a TV, and could go days without meeting their flatmate who also works 14 hours, if not more.
2. One friend had had a great time staying alone and in fact it had been his dream for a while. I was hoping for inspiration. He says, “It was nice. But would be nicer with a fun flatmate”.
OK! Needed one fun flat mate.
3. Now for the more serious feedback – for most women, when they were staying alone they had a boyfriend frequently visiting them. Sometimes it was also their parents, but mostly the boy friend.
So, it’s not really the same as living alone. It was just a matter of technicality.
4. My sister came out right and said ‘isn’t that a little weird?’
Ok. I can see where she is coming from. Still in her 4th year of college, she is probably planning house sharing plans in Bangalore (where she will take her job) and it probably didn’t occur to her that there will be a point when close friends are not so close by (location wise) any more.
But I thought that for other reasons. Are we judgemental of people, women in particular claiming to be ok of being alone?
But now that I think about it, several of my friends have lived alone at different points in time. When my flatmate in Hyderabad – the girl who couldn’t have eat lunch alone in an office cafeteria – took a place for herself, it was radical. And trust me,she lived it up. Another friend who took a place for herself was kicked about doing the place up and loved having a place of her own. For one friend, a place for herself was the highest kind of "evolution", if you can put it that way (well, except for her fear of staying alone). Another said that it would have been the natural choice.
So, maybe it could be liberating. Like the woman who buys flowers for herself and I’ve already done that once.
Maybe it’s just about being ok in your skin kind of thing. Believe that it’s no big deal ; and it really isn’t.
5. One said, ‘I was too young to be alone’.
How sweet. Is it an age thing? Do we become more ok with this sort of thing after an age? Or could this be an unavoidable option for some of us in the future? This scares me... I don’t think I want to accelerate this eventuality any further than I have to.
So, here I am going through all this emotional and psychological upheaval about moving alone. And I forgot (how could I?) – it always comes back to the basic things. No no – its not facing my fear and all that blah. I’m talking money and exorbitant rents in Mumbai. All this drama and struggle before sorting out the most important question – will I be able to afford it?