Saturday, June 13, 2015

Surviving the solitary life!

It is crazy how you can have several ideas in your head for the longest time but never get around to executing them. Over the last couple of years, I have had so many things happen in my life, so many experiences that I could have written about. But then, I shun the idea aside and start another TV show marathon. So today, I sat down and decided I would write about one of those experiences: Living on my own!

To start off, let me explain why living on my own is a big deal for me. For the better part of my childhood I had a lot of trouble being on my own, it might be sleeping alone or being in a house on my own. Somehow, I was able to avoid most of these situations for a very long time. Even after I moved to the United States for my Masters, I had a minimum of three roommates at any point of time which ensured that I avoided the being-on-my-own situations with almost a 100% success rate. In spite of all my insecurities about living on my own, I always wanted to give it a shot. I am still not sure if it is because I desperately wanted to conquer my fears or if I wanted to be like one of the stud movie heroes who live such an ‘eventful’ life living alone.

This March, I had the perfect opportunity. My parents were going to visit me end of April and I needed the extra space. My first challenge was to survive the six weeks from when I move in to the point where my parents were going to come into town. In the weeks that followed, I was able to overcome most of my fears and even started to enjoy living on my own.

For my own amusement, I have decided to list out (in no particular order) some of the things that help me keep my sanity and go about my day.

1. Wi-Fi: I guess it goes without saying that Wi-Fi is the single most important thing that any home needs these days. Especially when you live alone, it is almost as important as electricity or running water. Wi-Fi is the life force that empowers other tools such as my television, smartphone and laptop. One of the best decisions I made when I moved to my new apartment was picking the fastest Wi-Fi connection the broadband company had available.   

2. Smart phone: Smartphones are almost on par with Wi-Fi in terms of importance. This is the most convenient ways of communication and entertainment, it can go into places where a television and a laptop cannot go. It is my music in the shower, TV in times of need and keeps social networking at my fingertips. Oh and I also use it to text people and call people when being forever alone gets a little tiring.   

3. Television and TV shows: As a stand-alone unit, the television is much like a human body in a coma. It works but with little usefulness. But empowered with add-ons such as a cable connection, internet connection and a Chromecast, it transforms into a powerful tool of entertainment. When living alone, it is no longer optional, it is a necessity. 
On evenings/weekends when I am just too lazy to get up from my couch and socialize with anyone, the characters from the several TV shows I watch become my friends and family. Their voices and lives fill the emptiness of my house with life. I connect with them on so many levels and experience their life as if it were my own.
On several occasions, these shows provide me an escape from my own personal reality. They keep boredom at bay and trigger my imagination and at times inspire me to be something/someone different.                  

4. Music: This has always been an important part of my life. As a part of living alone, music is always there for me. Mostly in the shadows, sometimes actively keeping me company. My music is like a shape-shifter that take on different forms based on the activity that I am doing. Most important of them all is the trance music that puts me to sleep every single day. For lesser important activities such as taking a shower, cooking or working out there is the energetic western or eastern music that help me maintain the energy levels.

5. Laptop: Perhaps not as vital as the television or the smart phone, laptop is still a very essential part of my life. Even through smart phones can do a lot of stuff, they cannot be used for a lot of other stuff. For example, I could have never typed this rant (article) on a smartphone even if it had the same version of MS word installed on it.          

P.S. When I originally started writing this, I meant it to be straight up funny. But somewhere along the way it turned slightly darker. But the very fact that I was able to finish writing this gives me hope that I still have it in me to sit down, think and express my feelings on paper. Cheers!