Monday, February 24, 2014

In good company

“The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.” 
― Michel de Montaigne, The Complete Essays

Before actually living by myself, I loved the idea of living alone. It was something I always wanted to do… just to know how it feels. At first, I was apprehensive about not having someone around, not being able to talk to someone, being left alone with only my thoughts and myself.  But now, it has been close to a month that I have been living by myself, and there are a lot of things I have learnt, primarily about myself.

I think I have come to be grateful and appreciate all the little things that I had taken for granted until this point in my life. I don’t have food arranged for every day, like I did for the past 25 years. I don’t have someone to give me a glass of milk because I’m too lazy to take it myself. I don’t have my bed made, my clothes washed, the dishes done, the house cleaned, groceries stocked, clothes folded and ironed, anymore. Thank you, Ma. I realize with every passing day how much you have done for me and I am truly indebted.

What I do have however, is lots of silence and time to discover myself. What I did not figure in 25 years, I have in a month. I have come to figure that I love my own company. I love the conversations I have with myself – they are brutally honest and extremely ridiculous even, at times. I love staring at myself in the mirror, and sometimes wish I could kiss myself. I have developed a new kind of love for myself - the empowering sorts. I have come around to love the silence around me. The riot that used to consume my mind has departed; it’s just me and my own banter now. My quirks are mine to accept and love.

In the darkness and silence of the nights, I have revived my flair and love for the arts. I don’t need to talk to someone all the time. I am happy hearing from people who care enough to talk to me, but the need is gone. I am a bit of a cleanliness freak. I love having plants. I don’t like someone else cleaning the house; I’d rather do it myself. I love the freedom to do what I want. I have also figured that I like cooking – it is not as drab like I used to think it is. I make time to read. I make time to talk to my mum every day. I don’t need to text or use my phone as much as I used to, only because I have better things to do. I am more responsible and utilize my time better. I don’t need to watch TV; I can do without it. I love sleeping in and waking up to the voice inside my head telling me that it’s time I wake up. I love waking up and having nobody to tell me what to do. I have time to reflect on how wonderful my life is and has been...knowing that this phase is a vital part of my journey to come.

I think I underrated how wonderful and gratifying living alone can be. I am very glad I am getting to experience it sooner than later. Everyone should live alone sometime in their lives – not to experience solitude, but to get to know themselves better.