My Experience 'Being All in All'
By Hira, age 23, PakistanAn independent life living alone seems so fascinating. It was also a kind of fascination for me - till I experienced it myself. However, it's no longer a fascination for me. I will tell you why.
I live in the Asian part of the world. Here we give value to our customs and traditions more than anything, and we compromise our own wishes a lot. The story begins when my uncle and aunt had to go to China on conference for 15 days, while their children Talha and Hameeza were at home all alone. So my mom told me that my other aunt (my mom has two sisters) and I were going to live there. We moved there the next day.
There were some duties I was supposed to fulfill, like getting up at 6 am (I always hated it), then preparing breakfast because the maid comes at 9 am, escorting the children to the bus stop, then coming back home and making breakfast. Then I was able to go to university because after that my aunt handled everything, like preparing lunch and dinner, etc. I came home at 1 pm, and at 2 pm I had to pick up the children from their school. This was my daily routine.
The twist came when my aunt also left because of the death of a very close relative of hers. So I was flooded with extra responsibilities, meaning I was all in all. My fascination was coming true ... however, I never wanted it that way.
Now I had to cook too, and the bad thing was that I didn't know much about cooking. What you might not know is how difficult Asian dishes are to cook because there are many ways of cooking the same dish, and you have to add a variety of spices to it. So now, when I picked up the children and reached home, there was no lunch!! I was also starving. At 2:30 I was in the kitchen, and I made a phone call to my mom and asked how to cook "chicken karahi" (a special chicken dish). Then I started cooking. I came out from the kitchen at 4:00. We ate lunch, then we saw a cricket match, although I had to prepare for a quiz and do an assignment for the next day, but I had no time, so I started studying at 12 am and finished at 5 am, and then got up again at 7 am.
This only happened once, but I hated being alone. Why? Because the place where I put the towels, blankets, and clothes in the morning was exactly at same place I found them when I reached home at noon. (In my house my mom handled everything.) When I arrived home there was no one to greet me, no one to wait on me ... simply no one. Here we are not used to such a lifestyle. Most of us don't live apart from family. I wondered how people manage to live alone.
Anyway, this routine continued for the next 8 or 9 days. I cooked daily, feeling loneliness and hating my routine. However, during these 15 days, I managed to go to my home and meet my family, and so my days went fine. But I did enjoy some things - we did a bonfire several times and I managed to watch some movies too.
Finally, the 15 days passed and my uncle and aunt came back from China, and I can't tell you it was such a relief that I was going back home.
What I have learned from these 15 days was that I cannot live alone. Also, it is so difficult to manage a home. When I came home I told my mom that from now on I'm going to cook for my family, and even now as I'm writing this story I'm in the kitchen.
Lastly, I would like to encourage you to just stay with your family. I promise that you will never need any psychiatrist or counselor!