There have been some very educational changes in my life. It would be false to say that I had full control over the circumstances that lead to these changes. While the changes that I couldn’t control taught me loads, I will tell you about two changes that I did have control. Changes that I chose and executed, while in themselves seem to be something very normal/common place but hold great value as to how I had to start a new life on their account.
The first change that I want to talk about is college. I had an option between two colleges. One in my hometown where I was pursuing my Bachelor’s in Science, and another in a different city for Engineering. While both the colleges are equally good, I chose to study in a city different from home. After the initial misty eyes when I did leave for hostel, and the first night away from home, things began to feel pretty normal. The routine of the college seemed to help too.
While the routine of everyday was distracting in itself, small changes began to feel big. Back then, Debit Cards were not yet so common. This meant that one had to either control the money spent, or keep extra money as backup. While keeping extra money in itself wasn’t something of note, what made a difference was the temptation to spend it. Temptation showed up in innocent things like wanting to have a slice of the chocolate cake after college, or go catch up on the latest movie with friends (Cola & a tub of popcorn). But this also meant that money was needed for extra stationery, or to buy medicines, it wasn’t there.
Money aside, things we take for granted became more profound. Home food felt dearer compared to what we had in the hostel mess. While it is common to feel so for the taste, but for me it was a different reason. At home, food is made keeping the likes and mood in mind. If I felt a craving for mushrooms, then mushrooms would be made. If I feel like having dinner late in the night, it can always be reheated. Such aspects became a comfort instead of something being taken for granted.
The next major change that happened was moving out for a job. In itself, this was a chance to start a new life. AN independent life. Living away from the family wasn’t new, but living by myself was. Now that I was fully responsible for myself, it was up to me to do things as I wanted. Things like rent were not that much of an issue since I was earning, but other aspects of the house were. Since I was the one who would choose where I lived, I began to look at houses with a new insight.
How far would the place be from the bus stop? How much difference would it make in the daily commute? Are there traffic jams nearby during rush hours? Where does the water go when it rains? Is there a vegetable market nearby? If the week was hectic, clothes and undies would pile up. I would need a space to keep a laundry basket, and a larger cupboard to keep my fresh sets of clothes. I generally like to sleep on the floor with just a mattress below me and a bed sheet to cover myself. It became a different situation when I would have friends or family over. Mother would need a cot, and more storage space for extra mattresses for friends to sit on.
The house would need a gallery to hang my clothes out to dry after washing. I had tried doing that inside under the fan with a clothes rack, and the room ended up feeling damp and smelling of soap. While books were initially kept in a simple carton box, I ended up needing a dedicated rack for storing the extra ones. While I had started with a simple platform for cooking, I had to look for a new house with a kitchen that would allow me to store my vessels and vegetables. One cannot live on Maggi forever.
These are two times in my life where I have had to start a new life, a different life.
Inspired by this video of housing.com: