Feminism is the radical notion that women are people said someone famous. That sums up feminism better than any long winded definitio...

Monday, 16 May 2016

On Being Alone

So I'm back from watching a movie, by myself. Alone.

I hate to use that word, alone-it sounds so forlorn and that's certainly not how I feel when I'm by myself. Yes, all by myself. I know it's not something very unique and a lot of women must be doing this out of choice. But I can't imagine it being easy, not in India.

All of my life I've been surrounded by people, family. I never had the luck, nor, I must admit, the ambition or perseverance to go off by myself, not even to a hostel, for my education. And so it's been for me-always, always people around me. As I've hit my 40s, I've finally started pulling away from family and carving out time for myself.

In one conversation after another I've had women deny or downgrade the stresses of everyday life and I've been no different. Only in the recent past have I admitted to myself, how stressed my normal workday makes me. The epiphany struck me during a vacation to a remote corner of Himachal.  Without access to the internet or even a telephone, as layer upon layer of care melted away, my everyday levels of stress hit me. I realised their existence only in their absence!

Ever since that vacation, I've actively worked to create the space and time to be by myself. Watching a movie is one of those little ways. When I first set out to do it, I was diffident and anxious but I got the hang of it and now it's a cakewalk. Yes I still get the odd stare and people keep looking around me, wondering where my partner/s are, but I couldn't care less.

 I recently did something else which was revolutionary to me- I took a holiday alone. I realise I'm not adventurous enough to pack a backpack and go off unplanned so this was meticulously planned trip -but it was a reading holiday. I read books and took walks by myself and thought through a lot of stuff- but mostly I read. It was the best holiday of my life!


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