“Distance means so little, when someone means so much”
The time I felt truly out of home, out of place and absolutely lost in my solitude was when I moved for my internship to Stuttgart. After spending one year at Chemnitz with some of the most amazing friends, it was time to pack everything and move to another city.
Not that until now I didn’t realize the things listed below, it’s just the intensity with which it hit me differed. Now as I know a lot of people who have moved out of their homes in last few years – for work, studies, or simply because they had to (or wanted to) – listed below are some of the top points I accumulated when I moved here.
Just to make it clear, these are some things I personally experienced or know about it first hand. And I am sure there are plenty more that can be listed. So, after the list is complete, if you have some point that I haven’t mentioned, comment below. So, here we go –
- Instant (extra) attachment to family – No matter how much you disliked same old wise words from parents or got irritated with the little things siblings once did, they become your friends the time you move out of home (Not that they weren’t before). The sharing of small details of daily life, taking AND giving suggestions for decisions yet to be made, or smallest of discussions about recent news – it all adds up when you talk to them (Skype/call/any form of communication).
- Food adjustment at another level altogether – Yes, everyone from India might think of Maggi when ‘Food’ and ‘Adjust’ come together, but its not just that one thing (of course it has saved our stomachs a lot of times, no doubt). There are so many recipes that we try to re-create that it does-not-look-ummm-appetizing exactly. Nonetheless, we keep trying, hoping to get it right just once, so that we can take a picture and send it back home (just to give the false hope of awesome food we eat outside home).
- Sacredness of weekends – Weekend has always been sacred even back at home, but the amount of work that had to be done was just – another level. When we leave home, and no one to wake us up at even 4pm, yes that is sacred (Ignoring the number of missed calls from home). Friday nights become the most important time of the week (both for students and working people) for obvious reasons. If there is no plan, there is always nice take-out with favorite drink and a movie that you have been waiting to watch.
- Sudden waves of loneliness – Most of the times its alright, we manage pretty well. But there are times, when you just happen to stumble upon something memorable from home or college or something that friends gifted you or basically anything that takes you to another energy level. And then flows in, the feeling of loneliness. Questioning your decisions, recalling past events that cannot be changed and so on are most basic things that pop randomly and without no reason in your head. And all that is needed to pop that sad bubble is either your favorite food or talk at home or a call to a friend that simply says “This happens, it’s but normal”. All is right with my life again!
- Evaluation of decisions for soothing – We all have been through the stage where we have questioned all our past actions and thought to ourselves – “Was it a good idea to come all the way here?”. The only way we all use to calm ourselves down is, by evaluating pros and cons. On one hand its family and friends that we had to part (temporarily) and on the other hand we think about how this would effect our future, how cool are the new places you are getting to visit and all the respect that flows in when you accidentally hear someone talk about how independent you are. So all set, and back to work.
- Treat yourself – It does take sometime before we realize that no one is going to pat out back or appreciate efforts. Simple, treat yourself and tap your own back. This is what I do. I know my family and friends will be happy for me if I share something with them, but it is but human to expect something as appreciation, so, I treat myself to the extra-expensive-for-no-reason-Starbucks-Coffee or not-so-cheap-Sub-from-Subway once a month. sometimes if I don’t have a reason, well, just for the fact that I am living alone. Problem solved. Don’t need to wait for anyone to do anything after all.
- The two-peak trips – Now depends on the kind of person you are – you will either plan your smallest of the trips to the penny OR you will just wake up one morning and decide to travel across the country. Why? because you want to, and you need no one’s permission to do so, now that you are living alone (one of the best perks ever! =) ) P.S: applicable if you like traveling, and assuming you are already out of home, well, completely applicable.
- Hunt for the cheapest communication – Be in Europe or United States or Australia or Antarctica, one of the first things we search for is the cheapest calling/communication options available. We all have been through that stage right after moving to another place. Either we buy something and let ourselves be the example of what not to buy for others, or you can be smart and wait for someone else to buy and see the options for yourself. I was in former category(fyi). Your welcome fellow people.
- Occasional craving for attending functions – One fine evening you have no mood to cook (well, almost everyday that is) and have all the time in the world. that’s the time dip into memories happen again. Recalling the really-boring-funtions/party’s that didn’t want to attend, suddenly becomes a craving. Why? Simple, food of course. The line of awesome buffet and listing all things in your head = mouth-watering-begins and wishing you could have just a little more then.
- Being your own Superhero – Once upon a time making decisions (small or big), killing a spider/roach/mouse or solving problems was discussed at length back at home. Now you can’t do that the same way. There are some things you have to manage by yourself. And that’s when you realize – I am my own superhero. Every little thing you do, becomes a part of your achievement. If it doesn’t for you, well you need to start appreciating yourself some more my friend.
- Secret to people reading unveils – I sit and wonder of all the times parents told, “We know it, and we know what is right and wrong for you”. This phrase makes sense now. Understanding people based on getting cheated/back stabbed/ being helped all adds up to one major aspect of life – being able to differentiate between right and wrong. Takes time, but eventually, we all know that it happens.
- F.R.I.E.N.D.S become your family away from home – Paper cuts to heart breaks to food discussions to family problems, anything and everything is and can be discussed with friends. They are the family that keeps you going even when away from home. Doesn’t matter if this include 1 good friend or a group of friends, as far as you have the true one(s), you will never feel alone. These talks can happen over phone(in case of different cities) or over glass(es) of well, let’s just say “Apply juice 😀 (Pun-intended, for all those who are as tube-lights as I am). But no matter what, they are one of the reasons you are still surviving (to be precise – surviving happily).
- ‘Hole in the pocket’ food – Yes, I am talking about the when-you’re-high-you-order-midnight-snacks food. Next afternoon when you wake up and realize that the money you blew up on the crazy cheese filled pizza, which is of no good to your body in any way, you also realize that it was your money for something you had been thinking of buying (example – say a hat or shoes or a cool false or whatever it was that you were planning) since weeks now. You have to start all over again. Great! This is particularly applicable to students who have their cents all counted and treasured. I am yet to see the other glorious side of employment (Pun), and not feel the pocket hole that big, one fine day.
No matter what, been through things or not, the moral is, once your back home after this crazy and delightful voyage, you feel good. Irrespective you have moved a city/continent away, we finally feel like a grown up in true senses.
Comment below and let me know the things you have experienced staying away from home. It may definitely help someone, somewhere =)