A lot of young people look forward to moving out of their homes and living by themselves. This is what I am doing now, at age 19. Well, I’m not entirely alone. I have two wonderful flat mates who are also in my university. When I say living by “themselves” I meant living without your parents, in your own place, perhaps with other people who are not your parent/legal guardian. Now I guess I could count living in dorms during my first year of university. But there, I did not have to worry about things like bills, and groceries. Everything was so nearby, so familiar. But now, on the 58th floor of an apartment building, things are different. I have to worry about paying electricity bills, the WiFi bill, making sure to lock up (in university, my bedroom door was always open, and I didn’t have a care in the world). I have a kitchen, from which I feel this echo, whispering “Use meeee.” So there comes the groceries. I’m cooking! I’m bloody cooking! No more mum to whip up a meal that took what felt like 5 minutes to make and looks like a dish you’d see on Masterchef. Nope, it’s hello slightly burnt pasta or slightly undercooked fried eggs.
I’ll tell you one thing. It feels liberating. I can go out to my balcony, light a cig and not give a fuck.
But, that’s it really. I can’t always rely on having my flatmates as company; they have lives of their own. It’s not like I do. But at the same time, at least 2 buses in every direction to see anyone I know won’t be sustainable for long in terms of both time and money. Truth is, I miss being able to just walk into my parents room, looking for some sort of comfort (even though it usually ends up in a lecture). I miss those late night walks around uni with a friend or two.
But I guess, that’s part of growing up, right? Your surroundings cannot always be familiar and cozy. Sometimes, you’re going to have to be far away from people, whether you like it or not. It’s ironic, because right now from my window, I can see hundreds of lit up windows, with silhouettes of human beings. But they’re just that. Human beings. Not my friends. Not my family. Not people I know. Strangers. It feels exciting in a way, wondering what they might be doing or thinking right now. I wonder if any of them are looking out of their window, thinking what I’m thinking.
I guess freedom, in any form, has it’s price. It’s just up to us to figure out how long we can hold on to that freedom until it becomes too much to bare.