Sometimes, I miss being single!
‘Singleton’ is not a privilege given to many women in South Asia. We are ‘protected’ closely by our families and then given away in marriage to the man who will ‘protect’ us. We grow up in one nest and then just before we get a chance to fly, the wings are clipped a little and we settle into another nest.
Some of us luckily manage to escape with the excuse to study abroad or move cities for a job before getting married. It takes a lot of convincing and tears and drama, but some women survive the battle and get a ticket to fly solo in a new city, away from the prying eyes of the neighbours and relatives that might go back and report.
So, in the brief period of 3 years that I was single and moved out of my parents’ house, I enjoyed the liberty of a few experiences that were new for an Indian girl living alone.
1. Living by myself: I miss walking into my apartment and letting the silence sink in. It almost instantly calmed me down. Now, when I walk through the door, it is a lovely feeling to know that someone behind it is waiting for me. But some days, I wish I had a moment to myself to unwind. There were other perks of being single and living by myself, like being in total control of the TV remote, not checking in, not feeling guilty for staying out late. Sometimes, I had cornflakes for dinner or ice cream for breakfast and that too in bed. And no one judged me or asked me if I was PMS-ing! It did take a while getting used to being alone, sometimes it even got lonely, but it gave me a lot of me-time and helped me come closer to my true self.
2. Managing my finances: Having total control over my money obviously meant responsibility, but it also meant freedom to plan for things I wanted. I was the only person I had to take care of, so I could be a little selfish and could invest in that guitar that I would never play or take a spontaneous trip to the spa or even a short break without having to budget the month with my partner. As a single, I prioritized my whims and myself over beautiful cutlery for guests or curtains for the living room!
3. Taking a trip alone: Planning family vacations often means negotiations and sacrifices. Travelling with like-minded friends is fun but sometimes it can take a turn for the worse. Either way, someone is always watching your back. Travelling as a single woman for fun was a strange concept to me. I remember being frightened with the idea itself, of not even taking a friend along. Because what fun would it be, if I didn’t have someone to share the experiences with. What if something happened to me? If I fell sick or got robbed? I contemplated long and hard and then I just did it. The first time felt strange, but for the first time, I also felt free, I could do just what I wanted, no schedule to stick to and no one that I had to share my bathroom with. I could just get up and go wherever I wanted to. While the trip taught me to be self-reliant, what I miss most is the carefree feeling of no one rushing me.
4. Binge-watching my favourite series: I am a soap junkie and as a single I could stay in over the weekend and just binge-watch series like desperate housewives or gossip girl. Now, there is someone else lurking in the apartment so I can’t let life stand still for a whole soap season and just stay in pyjamas all day and binge-watch and binge-eat and watch sitcoms and have a good cry.
5. Sleeping in: Now, don’t get me wrong. I love the cuddling and the companionship. But some days, especially on weekends, I just want the bed all to myself and I want to sleep in undisturbed. It never really happens however hard I try. Even if I decide to linger in the bed, I hear the sound of the coffee machine or my husband pacing across the apartment or the sound of the closet door whamming even though he was trying to be really quiet about it. And friends with kids tell me that they have given up on the sleeping in dream till their kids move out of the house!
Author: Roma Rajpal Weiß
Editor: Marjory Linardy
Roma Rajpal Weiß is an Indian journalist based in Bonn. She can be followed @romarajpal
“What you think, you become… If you think you are weak, then you are. If you think you are strong, then that’s what you become. Women are not empty vessels that someone will fill our lives with empowerment. We have to draw on our inner strength first, as the power to bring change lies within ourselves.”
Why am I asking this question? Am I really searching for an answer to this or am I asking myself something else. I may perhaps find the answer to this at a later stage if I am able to put my finger on the exact pulse of my wandering thoughts. I might or might not have that “Eureka” moment. Nevertheless, I intend to try.
“… A tall, dark, handsome guy earning a six-digit salary. Should have the qualities of ‘Lord Rama’ because my parents have trained me to be like the goddess Sita.” Apparently, an ideal wife looks best when paired with an ideal husband!
Date27.03.2015 | 13:05