Introduction: I have committed myself to create a “journey in 2017” post at the end of each month throughout this year. This collection of content is to share my journey of trying different things that are aimed to contribute to my wellness and lifestyle as a whole. It can be something small or big, I am just challenging myself to be conscious and aware of the new things I am trying out.
I know there has been a hiatus in posts here, and there are millions of excuses I would like to make, like the fact that I have been sick 3 times over the 7 weeks since I moved to KL, and how I am still adapting to my new job, and the good ol’ writers’ block getting to me etc, but a commitment is a commitment, so I do apologize.
But I am back now! And I want to talk about one of the things that I am adapting to right now, which is living alone. I know I have lived alone before since I was 18 when I moved to Kampar to study. But this time around, it seems very different somehow, so I thought I would share my journey with you.
So if you are contemplating if you should move out and live alone, or if you are about to move to someplace new to stay, away from your hometown, here is the truth (the very honest truth) about living alone.
1. The space is entirely yours.
Yes, this is definitely one of the biggest perks of living alone. You get to have your very own space. You get to have complete control of where things should be, when you should do your chores, how you want to decorate it etc. One of the best things I enjoy about living alone is the fact you get to come home and just enjoy the feeling of being alone with no obligations to “layan” anyone or anything else. This is indeed a sense of liberation that can be helpful after a long day. But as the cliché saying goes, with great freedom comes great responsibility.
This means you have to learn to be discipline. Even if you are super tired, chores still need to be done. If you don’t get it done, no one else will do it for you. I personally naturally become much more discipline when I live alone, I am even tidier than when I live at home (sorry, mum!). Guess it’s because I really take pride in this space that I get to call mine and come home to each day. This is why I take a lot of effort (and even investments) to make sure it’s cozy and welcoming.
2. You will learn to be independent.
Just like the previous point, you need to be down to do everything on your own. I used to think I am a very independent person, but after moving here, I do realize I get a lot of help from the people around me without me being consciously aware.
When I go grocery shopping alone, I have to put into consideration the fact that I am unable to carry so much groceries home and filter out the things that I do not need so urgently till the next round. I always have my parents or friends to help me out, in Penang or in Kampar, so when I came here, it did hit me.
When I am tired and hungry, I still have to travel back from work by train, prepare my own meals and eat alone. There are days when I crave hanging out with people I can be truly myself and comfortable with, but because I am in a foreign (at least most of my friends and family members are not here), I have to suck it up and just enjoy my own company with the companionship of movies and sitcoms.
But out of all the daily routine things I learned to cope on my own, being sick when you are living alone can be quite intimidating. As I mentioned, I have been falling sick quite often, and each time it has been quite bad (I guess my body is still adapting to the change of environment). When I got sick, even when I nearly fainted at the train station, I still had to drag myself home (by train and walking since I do not have a car here) grab my own dinner, get medicine, do the dishes, and tuck myself in bed. To be honest, I was pretty miserable when I had to deal on it on my own.
However, this has also made me learn to be independent and enjoy my own company. It’s a great learning process I really believe everyone should go through, just to be a stronger person, and able to completely take care of yourself.
3. You learn to be grateful.
One of the biggest things I have learned since living alone is actually gratitude. This is because I realize how much of things I have took for granted when I stayed at home. Everything was provided for me, and now that I have to do everything on my own, manage finances without eating free off my home, I am so grateful.
I am appreciative of every small thing people do for me, including Grab drivers who dropped me directly at my lift instead of the guardhouse, when I am sick or when I am carrying heavy groceries. I am thankful for colleagues who drop me home after hanging out, despite them staying far away just because they know I do not have my own car here. I am thankful for my parents who have been checking up on me constantly, always making sure I eat right and have enough (financially) to survive. I am super grateful for friends who are not physically here but are willing to call and check up on me, to hear me rant on about the most trivial things when I am having a bad day, or even to have a chat. Because it does get lonely when you are living alone. And having a support system, be it near or far, can make everything so much better.
So this has been another great journey for me, moving 400km away from home, to a foreign place without much friends and family (unlike Kampar where everyone stays less than few kilometers away). It’s tough and challenging, but it’s still a life-changing opportunity that I would not want to miss for the world.
If you too are planning to move some place far away to live alone, I wish you all the best and enjoy each and every bittersweet moment for it. Because we are #adulting, and that itself is something to be proud of yourself.