Home Alone


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I always thought that being alone was something I’m really good at doing. I went to a lot of places being solo: airplanes, movie theater, parties, sea. I traveled alone to foreign cities and loved the luxury of being on my own. It was a luxury,isn’t it? To be left alone, to do whatever you desire to do, to decide for your own good. To think, ponder and swim deep in your thought. Freedom. La vie boheme.

For as long as I remember, I’ve always required a great deal of space. “Leave me alone” was almost a motto during those rebellious teenage years (if you can say being left alone to read or paint in one’s room is rebellious, that is). Then I left home for college and spent a fantastic four years living by myself in a rat trap room the size of 3x3 metres. Ah the golden days of long nights! Much like Murakami’s characters in “Norwegian Woods”, all I did was read, read and read voraciously. I also  managed to watch 250 something movies in  just a year. By the end of college year, I thriumphantly read 423 books and watched 894 movies (yes, I’m a geek with a list). It’s amazing what you could do with your time when you have nothing to worry about or things to take care of, other than college projects. 

Then I came home. Home, at that time, means a dad, a mom, a little monkey brother and a dog. Extended family members included three uncles, two aunties, their spouses and offsprings and offsprings’s offsprings. Numerous birthday parties, weddings, funerals, hospital visits and countless babies happened. Then something happened and unexpectedly I had to earn our livelihood (and my books and movies). So much for the good old days when all I need to do to earn money was to go to the nearest ATM. 

There were three of us at home, then two, then now one. For us, The Mayan prediction was correct. Armageddon, after all, is not about Will Smith fighting alien invasion, but losing people that you love and there’s nothing you can do about it. Now, for the first time, I know what it feels like to be truly alone. Those four years in college was nothing. You could be a thousand mile away from your family but they were there and you knew that you are not alone. They got your back, there were another human beings that constantly have you in their mind, that would help you no matter what, that would still love you nonetheless. You were safe. Now, I’m not so sure anymore. I’m not sure about anything anymore. Life is too fucking mercurial. 

Now, I know what the fuzz is about regarding “the fear of dying alone and eaten by cats”. In my darkest hour, there was this possibility that I might slipped, hit my head in a shower, had severe internal bleeding. Extended family member might get curious after three days of no answer, came and found my dog went raving mad outside, and me, dead. Gulp. Scary. 

No wonder people get hastily married. Anything to avoid being alone and lonely. At least, if you get a concussion, there will be someone who will find you and whisked you away in a warm embrace and take you to the hospital. I haven’t got lucky in that departement. No potential spouse in sight although met few that would love to embrace but not taking me to the hospital in case of emergency. Hence, I kidnap a dear friend and proposed her to be my housemate. She said “I do”. We live together now, PJs party every night. It used to be my Mum who fashion policed me in the most important daily question of all: does my bum look big in this pants? Now I get to ask her. She’s not always around but her company means a familiar face, an answer, a question.

There are days when I’m alone with just a dog and a BlackBerry. There are bad days when I had to summon all the inner strength I have to just wake up and leave the bed, but there are also good days when I have something to look forward to, a purpose, a meeting, a chance. There are lazy days when cooking an instant noodle is just too much but there are also fantastic days when I feel like cooking paella. You can try to fight it by reading, watching Downton Abbey, get arak drunk, eat mushroom and hallucinating, have sex, party; but in the end, it will always be there. 

This living alone thing is just something that I have to get used to . To rely on myself more and not rely too much on somebody, to be able to change bulbs and fix the fish pond pump, to get used to breakfasting alone and the most difficult thing of all: to embrace cleaning (still ick). 

Living alone means facing yourself, the meanest demon of all. So I just have to love myself more and spend a good quality time with her. If the darkest hours come again, I’ll just have to embrace it and said “this too shall pass” and retreat to my inner garden and write about it or just dance with the loneliness like Kevin did when he was left alone at home on Christmas Day. 

I don’t know who will read this but I hope whoever you are, you will know too, that you are not alone in this battle with loneliness. We are in this together. 

We might be alone but we are not lonely.

1 komentar:

Veny (@MissLaiLai) said...

Deep and very moving. *big-hug*.

To a certain extent, on being alone and that fear of dying alone, I can relate to those feelings. I often wonder about it and sometimes wonder if it is easier just to settle...for that life time. companion.

But life has taught me, that loneliness creeps in, even when you are with someone that you *think* is meant to be for you.

Everything else other than those, I can only imagine how tough it is to deal with, and you are such a trooper, and I adore you for that. So to you, the brave and strong-hearted woman, know that you always have me as a friend, if you ever feel lonely. xx

 

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Hello! I’m Eve Tedja

I have been a professional writer for four years.


During that time, I have worked as a permanent contributor for Let’s eat! Magazine, Hello Bali, epicure, and published my articles in several other magazines like Venture, Panorama, Bravacasa, and Bali & Beyond.


Words, sentences, stories... these are my passion. I love to take new challenges in writing for various format and media. I create contents for websites, blogs, and communication materials. I’ve also worked as a copywriter, translator, coffee book editor, social media coordinator, media consultant, and even writing for a specialty coffee packaging.


Interior design, travel, environment, culinary, culture, history, and social issues are some of the themes that I have worked with in the past. I love getting involves with individuals, companies, organizations, and communities with stories to tell.


I am available for assignment worldwide. Reach me at eve(dot)tedja(at)gmail(dot)com.

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