Saturday, October 31, 2009

Alone or not alone? That is the question

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?


Nimmy said...

Actually I don't think living alone is so bad.. if you have friends in the same city, living alone is bliss (espply if you've had bad room-mate experiences).. and well I don't think age really matters too much.. its the finances that matter the most as u said! (IMHO)

Sriram said...

is the poll still open? ;-)

Sriram said...

Sorry.. I meant the Survey.. not poll .. :)

Meera said...

I wouldn't call it 'evolution' or anything that carried more baggage than it really should!!
It would be a change alright.. but what did u finally decide on?

Anu Karthik said...

As long as it does not leave a hole in your pocket I think it could be worth a try :)

Ms.N said...

@ Nimmy, Anu... definitely yes. financeis still the bigger question. :) what with unrelenting landlords who count every penny, and "associations" which dont want "single people", doesnt give one a lot of options!

@ sriram... sure! eveyrone's 2 pennies welcome

@Meera -true, that does sound loaded - without the need.

I guess it's about the person no. Some people look at it purely practically (ok, i need a place, i dont know anyone i can share with, lets take a place for ourself)- which is what i shd be thinking... and then there is the kind who wants to stress myself with stupid qns i suppose :D

Nisha said...

I think living alone is no taboo now, especially in Mumbai.
I know of few girls who live alone and love their privacy and freedom above anything else.

The finances can get taken care of if you decide on a locality... not best but reasonably good.

All the best !

Anil P said...

Money. That key factor as you rightly pointed out.

Having a space to oneself will help complete things with a focus, assuming you're the type who likes a bit of silence when working. Else, a flatmate one can jell with, dream with, and explore the city with is a blessing.

Or to start alone and see how things go before inviting another soul in.

Unknown said...

I'm with Nimmy, living along isn't bad at all unless you are afraid of your own company. But it could be just where I come from, in NZ it's a sign of independence and maturity living alone.

Sriram said...

If you have the money, you might as well afford the luxury of living alone, making your own mess and not worry about your flatmate's reactions to that.. :).. and you can have latenight parties and convinient to have friends & family staying over for a night..
Downside is... you will bcome very independant and get used to doing things your own way... Depending on what kind of personality you are, you might even isolate yourself and might find it difficult to live with someone else to share the living space with in future and also bcome less tolerant to other's mess..

Ms.N said...

thank you guys for ur comments.

@Anil, having a friend to live with is great. sadly, most people i know are already set-up.

@Sriram - think i am already picky about the mess. in my sister's words who has visited me couple of times in bby is, 'i am becoming my mom!'

@nisha, i didnt think of it as taboo... but i feel like a girl staying by herself attracts as much attention as any other!

@Cate, yep - i hope this step will be a sign of greater independence and maturity for me!

for me, I think it has been about finding the right place which says 'u want to live here alone'. luckily, i just did.

will write more on this soon...