Thoughts on Living Alone

Last year I moved to New Delhi for a few internships, and it was one of the best experiences of my life.

Sure, I’d been living away from home since I was 18. But living on campus had its perks. There was always food (free but not very tasty), and WiFi (the painfully slow kind). Living with my friends meant that I was never truly alone. And it didn’t hurt that home was just three hours away, not too far for desperate laundry runs.

Delhi was a little farther away from home, and without the safety net of a campus. And for the first time in my life, I was truly alone.

This is probably  the part where I should complain about the loneliness of being new to a city, and the isolation that urban spaces often create.

But living by myself gave me a glimpse of independence and self-sufficiency.

When you live with people, whether friends or family, you never really have time for yourself. All your waking hours are spent in interacting with the world around you, or consuming something, whether knowledge or entertainment. And for an emotionally repressed generation like ours, being left alone with our thoughts is downright unpleasant, like in this song.

But living alone has made me comfortable with myself in a way I’d never been before. If earlier time spent alone was time wasted, or just plain uncomfortable, it isn’t anymore. And I don’t feel the need to constantly occupy myself with a show, or social media, with conversations with people or a book. I can really breathe, and let myself be in a space I’ve created for myself. After a long time, I feel free. And it’s a beautiful feeling.

So I leave you with a question: What are your thoughts or experiences on living alone? Is hell other people, or  your own mind? And a hope that we can all find acceptance and comfort within ourselves.

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