Living away independently from your parents isn’t that prevalent in a desi society. Usually, you only move away if you get married.
So, letting me move to the dorms for my university education was not an easy decision for my parents. However, they knew if I wanted a good education I would have to live away from home.
I had always dreamt of living alone: the life of no rules and regulations and being independent. So I was ecstatic about this new phase in my life and I decided to take this leap of faith – and boy, it wasn’t easy.
During the first few months of living alone, I would find myself crying every other day. I would call my mum every single day and constantly update her on my life. I wanted to fly back home the instant I got any time off. That was the only thing I was concerned about.
Living alone is highly romanticized in shows and movies. You never really get to dance in your pajamas like nobody’s watching.
Coming from a big family I was used to noises surrounding me. It was always hectic and busy at my place. Getting used to the eerie silence at night was the worst. I couldn’t even sleep without keeping the lights on.
As time went by, I started enjoying the freedom that came with living alone. I could do things in my own time: eat whenever I want, wake up whenever I wanted. The freedom was enthralling. But it also made my life have no routine.
I had lived a pampered and sheltered life, so living alone did teach me to be a little bit more responsible. Having to take care of the whole room, being responsible for my laundry and cooking. To be honest, I thought I would learn more by living alone but I mostly had takeouts and frozen foods.
The void of loneliness was also then filled up by friends who became like family so I started missing my family less.
As time passed, the calls got shorter. The updates became less and less. I got busy in my own life. That’s the thing about life: you just need some time to become used to something. The passing of time makes things easier, and you can easily fall into new routines.
When it was time to say goodbye and go back home after my university ended, I was bittersweet. I had enjoyed my time alone, learning things which wouldn’t have been possible if I never got out of my bubble. But I had missed my family too much.
I had learned a lot from this experience, in terms of growing as a person. It wasn’t easy adjusting back to a routine living with my parents again.
But living alone made me value family time even more. I realized that every second with them counts even though I might not be getting all the freedoms I had while I was living alone. There’s a lot of wisdom to be learned, memories to be made and time to be cherished with them before life makes me move away from them again.
I guess it’s different for everybody, but for me, there is no warmth in a house unless it’s filled with loving family members and people you love.