I have lived away from home for some 7 years and counting now. You would think someone who had an extra protected childhood the first few days away from home would have been tough. Not for yours truly. For me it was an adventure, almost like learning to fly. Yes looking back the food sucked, the acco sucked and everything was scary the first time around-whether boarding a bus without understanding the number or destination written in a foreign tongue or walking back alone after class. But it was new and being able to do things yourself was thrilling.
The freedom, the independence was you could say politely was giving me a kick! No more explanations on where you are going, with whom you are going and how long you will be gone.
There were new friends to be added to the existing coterie. In hindsight I may have painted a too rosy picture but yes I don’t particularly remember feeling too lonely or angtsy. There were always friends around and maybe my grouch those days was there was never any time alone.
Till I started working.
And work life and student life are chalk and cheese even if its staying away from home. From the constant humdrum that is a hostel to coming back to an empty apartment every evening. To be surrounded by gossip, giggles and a million dreams is different from a hurried breakfast, putting an access card around your neck, and slipping into formal shoes.
And then comes the time when you walk into a CCD alone. Order coffee, pull out a book and avoid eye contact with happy couples all around.Alone.
Because there comes a point when you will be forced to have lunch alone The first time I walked into a restaurant, hesitantly and when the usher asked how many people, I had wished the earth would swallow me when I said one. Why is this happening to me? Is my social life so dead that I have no one to accompany me to a restaurant?
That was more than a year ago.
In a year where I travelled to locations where I dint know the local language or a single soul, I have eaten alone in some shady and some must-visit joints.
I have shopped alone when everyone’s social calendar was too booked to accommodate me.
On days I get bored I walk around aimlessly window shopping till I find a bookstore.
Perhaps the only thing I haven’t done alone is watch a movie, and once the movies are back at the multiplexes am sure I ll do that as well.
I wrote this because I know a lot of girls would rather sit bored at home than venture out alone. I was one of them till I found how liberating it is to do your own thing, at your own pace.
Yes given a choice I will prefer company but if not then the fact that I am alone isn’t going to stop me from doing something I want to do.
As status messages in FB go from single->engaged->married at lightening pace and marriage invites flood the inbox I figure I ll be doing more things alone as friends slowly and steadily drop out of social circle.
PS: I do often attribute doing my own thingy is a little stronger than needed in me. Maybe that is why I have lost so many friends on the way. I have tried to remember the birthdays as well as I can but have often not been there when I was required. Solely because I was doing my own thing. Call me selfish but that doesn’t dim the kinship I have felt towards anyone at any point in my life. Maybe I floundered what could have been. But given a second chance I am sure I wouldn’t do anything different.