October 29, 2009

Ups and downs of independence

I keep telling myself and everyone who wants to hear it how awesome it is to live on my own. And truly it is. Who am I to complain, living in a 140m2 condominium with pools, badminton and basketball courts (not that I play any of those sports), gym, playroom, plenty of green areas, and plenty of shops and restos within walking distance.

I can eat nutella of the pot with a spoon. I can wear hideous jogging pants. i can even walk around naked. I can decide not to make my bed in the morning and watch as many corny reality TV shows as my brain can take. I can have cereals for dinner (which I just did).

But no matter all the freedom living on my own gives me, the other side of the medal isn't quite as shiny. Truth is, living alone can be quite lonely. All those meals by myself, watching a funny movie with no one to laugh with, no one to greet you when you get home after a long day of work and at night... I won't even go there.
As much fun it is to have dinner on the sofa while watching Bravo TV shows, it doesn't compare to having dinner and a decent conversation with a real person.

Now, I've never been the ultra-social type of personality and I truly enjoy my alone-time, but moving to the Philippines brought me to a whole other level of independence. In a culture, where moving in together before marriage is frowned upon, I find myself missing the college days of sharing an apartment with a roommate or even the days of living at home with my parents.

Now, I know that in reality life isn't a fairy tale. I am lucky enough to say that mine is somewhat close, but I had one thing I would ask my fairy Godmother to swirl her wand for, it would be to have D.'s warm body wake up next to me in the morning and sit down to have breakfast with me.

More than in any culture I know, family plays a crucial role in the Philippines. It is a tremendous adjustment for me though, since as much as I love my family, I flew out of the nest as soon as I graduated high school. But true love is about embracing one another’s culture. I struggle at times, I admit it and I disagree with a lot of the traditions, but at the end of the day, I also know how to respect them. Everything has a price. This is mine. Cultural differences.

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