actuality.log


Friday, April the 2nd, 2004

Alone. That word is beginning to bug me. I do feel pretty alone. And the irony in all of this is, I have been pretty much alone for a huge portion of my life, why does it bother me now? Sure I lived in a normal happy family, went to school like other kids, played with them on the street and that sort of thing. But all of that was superficial. I was alone, and I was quite ok with it.

I exist, and yet don’t exist to society at the same time. My presence will be (obligatorily) noticed, but my absence will not be terribly missed.

Ok, so what does any of that have to do with anything? I am 99.73% sure I am going to sign a lease before Monday, which will result in me moving (in the fall) to my own place in a much more happening part of town. Sure, the new place is about as large as the kitchen(ette) in the place I’m currently at, and sure it costs 3 times as much, but I think I want to try this. I am desperate to make changes. Doesn’t matter where they come up, or how I make them. All I know is that I am not entirely ok with how everything is right now, and I’m vaguely shooting for something like “change everything slowly or drastically, until you eventually reach a point where you’re happier.”

Of course, the only flaw in this is, what if I am quite ok now?

I’ve lived with:
Asians
  Indian
    Northies
    Southies
      People from Madras
      People from Kerala
      People from Karnataka
  Pakistani
  South East Asian
Americans

I’ve lived with people my own age, to people 10 years older or more. I’ve lived with people who’d get queasy when they saw someone crack an egg, and with those who’ll gladly pick up a worm off the ground and put it in their mouths. Clean people, not so clean people. Smart people, idiots. Party animals, loners. Smokers, non smokers. Undergrads, masters students, phd wannabes, and post docs. Homophobes and bicurious folk. …

I think it’s safe to say I have tried. And I really have, over a couple of years. Though I have no (non superficial) problems, cultural issues, communication issues, or anything with any of these people, I wouldn’t claim I particularly derived a great deal of happiness (or comfort, or level of bonding or anything really positive) living with any of them. Sure, the kind of cultural insight I have gained is immeasurable. But is that what I am really after? I seriously doubt it. It’s not like I have this “feeling of loss” attached to any of them when they leave. I think the timeframes I’ve spent with them are too small for me to actually bond. Everyone knows I take a very very long time.

And yet, the bonds break like they were forged with poor quality glue.

The constant in all of this? Me. My room, my space, my home. For whatever it’s worth, this for a couple of years has been my homeworld. I am comfortable here. I “just know” a few people around. I know how they will respond when I greet them in some way, I know their routines, and I know who bakes the best pies. This works both ways. I can walk into a get-together sort of thing and they’ll always be someone who’s taken the time to make sure things like my dietary preferences were considered. I can walk into a cafe say, and I’d immediately get my regulars without me having to exert myself too much by asking for anything.

Mundane, and peaceful. Known, calm, predictable and… stagnant.

That is what this is about. That is what I am trying to fight here. Peaceful is ok, stagnant is not. If someone has any major insights on hermitism and living alone and anything related, and how it could irreversibly damage my social skills (even more I mean), speak now, or forever hold your silence.

There are some obvious cons. It’s a lot smaller and a lot more expensive, like I said. About a quarter BJ per month for the number junkies. (Where one BJ is a fancy unit of currency I use, which I am not going to get into.) And I will be alone, meaning I have to manage all the nitty gritties on my own (not like I don’t do all of that myself right now, however).

Pros are numerous too. It is in a very happening (relatively anyway) area with theaters, restaurants, stores and things like that. The median age of the people around is a lot less. The median activity level of the people seems to be a lot higher. It is more diverse, and not clearly 80%+ Asian. I don’t have to worry about stupid things like “Oh, but what if random roomie’s made his smelly dish today?”, if I plan on inviting someone over. I can decorate or change furniture and not have to go through “But did you really need to spend so much on draperies? And why do we have to partially pay for it?” style dialogues. Returning home dreaming about the last stick of chocolate, just to find an empty wrapper instead. Just a whole lot of stuff involved with being around other people all the time. I am sure this would be different if I felt differently toward these people, but I don’t.

I’d really like to know if there is a bigger picture negative to all of this which I cluelessly failing to notice.

This is a printer-friendly version of the journal entry “Changes. Living. Alone.” from actuality.log. Visit http://emphaticallystatic.org/earlier/changes-living-alone/ to read the original entry and follow any responses to it.

4 Responses to “Changes. Living. Alone.”

  1. anita says:

    hmm…the only slightly negative thing about living alone is that feeling of not having someone around to share good news with (or funny stories, or complaints). you know that feeling, when something just happens to you, and you want to come home and tell someone about it, but there’s no one there?

    but anyway, you can always blog about it instead.

    can’t think of anything else at the moment. of course, i’m one of those people who loves living alone…

  2. Pramila says:

    dunno why but this poem comes to mind.
    Peter McWilliams Poetry
    I must conquer my loneliness

    alone.

    I must be happy with myself
    or I have
    nothing
    to offer.

    Two halves have
    little choice
    but to
    join,
    and yes,
    they do
    make a
    whole.

    but two
    wholes,
    when they coincide…

    that is
    beauty.

    that is
    love.

  3. wahgnube says:

    anita: Yes, I know exactly how that feels. But it’s not like I was getting it from people I’ve lived with in the recent past anyway. I don’t think I’ll miss it too much.

    I would love living alone too. And I am going to. Thanks.

  4. wahgnube says:

    pramila: My first impulse was to SCREAM. Here I was, all willing to listen to regular advice and I get a freaking POEM. What is it with women people and poetry?

    And then I read it. And I know why it came to your mind. And it isn’t entirely on-topic advice/insight here, but it makes sense in the big picture scheme of things.

    A lot of sense. Thank you too.


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