Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash
Living alone was never part of the plan. Although, it sounds like a great idea to live all by yourself in your late 20’s when faced the decision to live solo? NO.
So, I moved to Bangalore in early 2017 for work and was looking to live somewhere near my office (there’s a valid reason for this, traffic sucks!). A few of my friends were living far-off and I never understood the PG (paying guests) facilities- tiny rooms, terrible food, unhygienic. Yikes!
The catch was it is not only difficult to find a studio apartment (aka. 1BHK here), it was expensive since the rent is higher and the ‘refundable’ deposit amounts to 10 months of upfront payment. Yes, TEN months.
So – there I was. Suddenly not only do I need to adjust to a new workplace and city, but I also am faced with living alone.
I was excited and nervous, but you know what? I love it.
Having housemates is so convenient and cost-friendly. I’d always lived with roommates and flatmates, not only of varied lifestyle but of different ethnicity, gender, faith and orientation. It was a great experience and helped me grow as a person. I’ve been living alone since 2017 (with an exception of 3 months last year) and it has been awesome. It is not only rewarding, but it also teaches very valuable life lessons, that can only be attained from living alone and just not being alone.
“Living on your own doesn’t have to be lonely. In fact, it can be liberating.” -Huffington Post
Here are the most enlightening parts of living solo:
You have your own house rules. I’m the master of my den, always. If I want calm and quiet, I can have it. If I want to play earth-shattering music at 10 PM, I can. If I want to sleep uninterrupted until 2 PM on Sundays and binge on Netflix until 4 AM, I can. I can leave the dinner dishes in the sink until afternoon, though I haven’t. I’ve cultivated a home environment that is soothing to my soul.
Your productivity will skyrocket. I’m at the peak of my productivity when I’m alone. I can wake up at 9 AM on a weekend and can cook sumptuous breakfast, week load of laundry, dish cleaning, read a few pages on my Kindle, catch up on news and still find time to exercise, clean my apartment and watch the latest flick on TV by 11 AM.
You will learn a lot about yourself. You get to know your boundaries- what you can do versus what you can’t do. I can cook for one without wastage, manage a monthly budget, pay utilities on time (thanks to auto-pay) and fix the damn electronics. However, I still can’t watch horror movies alone and stay away from it, but I’ve survived to catch a glimpse of the cemetery from my kitchen window and the weird sounds when the wind blows. Though I’ve faced some fears, I’ve realised how capable I am. You gain confidence knowing that no matter what, you’re OK on your own.
You can customise your house. I can move my bed right in front of the TV and use the bedroom as a home office. I can move the router to the best possible location without any approvals. I can command Alexa to switch the light in any of the 16 million available colours! I don’t have to compromise when it comes to any of my living preferences.
You become more social. Contrary to the belief- I’ve formed good friendships, genuinely know my colleagues and their families. Living alone pushes you to make more of an effort to see friends. I’ve joined language classes (French), toastmasters club where I met like-minded people, and few of them are friends even after leaving the country. I try to learn and communicate with locals in Kannada. Living alone pushes you to make more of an effort to see friends.
Me in San Francisco, February 2020
Living alone is exciting and made me more confident. I’m not afraid of travelling solo. This year, I had a chance to travel to San Francisco for business. Living alone made my 22 hours solo journey cakewalk.
There’s are downsides too! All are not rose coloured while living alone. There’s no online class that teaches ‘how to live alone’. The cost of living is higher, and I have no one to split the utility bills with. There are times I miss human presence. I miss hi-fiving a friend while watching a match, share a laugh while watching a comedy.
What’s your advice on living alone? Would you consider living alone? Leave in the comments below.