Why I enjoy living alone

It’s been about five months since I moved out of my parents’ place in Chennai to a small 1BHK in Bangalore. Of late, I’ve been feeling very grateful for having made that decision. Here is why I love living alone.

  1. Today I made shakshuka and it was quite tasty. A year ago, I had no idea what a shakshuka was. Living alone has given me room to experiment with new cuisines.
  2. I listen to music while I cook. While I previously did not really listen to music, it’s become an integral part of my life now.
  3. I feel like I distribute my energy more differently now. I conserve it when I’m alone and invest it in people when I meet loved ones. This feels much more balanced compared to when I was staying at home in Chennai, and there would be constant demands on my energy that I had no control over.
  4. Living alone has made me more grateful for the people in my life. I focus on them better and listen with less judgment.
  5. Friends have stayed over at my place a few times now, and I don’t have to worry about anyone else’s opinions, and it’s a weight off my shoulders. It feels wonderful to be able to host people, to feel an ownership of a space and then to invite people into it.
  6. I’ve been working very hard on “finding friends” in Bangalore. Today, a really cool person pinged me asking if I wanted to hang out, without me having to ping her first. It feels like I’m slowly building connections in this city.
  7. I get to work two days a week with Ishani at BHive, and I must say, there’s something really nice about being able to work face-to-face with colleagues.
  8. Now that my company’s profits actually pay for real-world expenditures, I’m much more motivated to run a tighter ship. And the work I’m putting in is showing. TCC had one of its best quarters in Jan-March 2019.
  9. Now that I actually have to pay rent and can’t spend all my money on luxuries, I’m a bit more prudent about my expenditure. I’m also learning to budget (ugh!).
  10. When I moved out, I was still plagued with anxieties about whether I’d be successful. Moving out has helped me relax these expectations because it has made me aware that my needs are, in fact, quite simple. This has, on the whole, made me more peaceful. (I’m sure this will change in due time, but I’m going to enjoy the moment for now).
  11. I no longer think work is what provides meaning to my life, though it definitely does have a big part to play. It is many components — work, freedom, health, relationships — coming together to form a whole.  I feel more comfortable with my professional life now because it is no longer burdened with the task of providing “purpose” to my life.
  12. I feel like I’m more my own person now. I take greater care of my appearance because I’ve started to see myself differently. I treat myself with greater respect.
  13. It’s strange, but I enjoy not having anyone “looking” at me when I’m at home. For one I am less conscious of my clothes and appearance, but I also feel like I forget myself (my body, my posture) in these moments and simply be.
  14. Living alone is often an emotional workout because there is no one to lean on but yourself. I’ve gotten way better at looking after myself instead of reaching out to someone else. But also, I’ve gotten much more comfortable asking for help when I need it.
  15. I’m starting to realise that I am indeed a brat, letting my own feelings often crowd out the fact that someone might be having a harder time than I am, or that their behaviour has nothing to do with me. I find my perspective changing. The West prioritises happiness and the East prioritises duty. I do not believe in embracing either in its entirety. But I’m EXTREMELY grateful that I am privileged enough to be a position I can balance the two.

One thought on “Why I enjoy living alone

  1. Beautifully captured. What you’ve written here deeply resonated for me with these lines by Clarissa Pinkola Estes from her book, Women Who Run With The Wolves,
    “Long ago the word alone was treated as two words, all one. To be all one meant to be wholly one, to be in oneness, either essentially or temporarily. That is precisely the goal of solitude, to be all one.”

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