Moving out of your parents’ house in Dhaka?
While in Bangladesh, most young adults aged 18+ do not go through major life changes other than choosing the course of education, the scenario abroad is completely different, where, upon reaching adulthood, they get a reality check as they move out of their parents' house and start living alone – a sight not too commonly seen here or is it so?
Moving out is an uncommon phenomenon in Dhaka, but it is not non-existent and unheard of. While moving to a different city for a job is popular among citizens, the same action for reasons such as living alone or enhancing the quality of life is often frowned upon, especially in a conventional society as such.
Let us not be too quick to judge these mavericks and take a deeper look into their reasoning, their life-altering experiences, and their exciting journey that is replete with challenges, lessons, and changes.
Living alone provides the scope to discover oneself as there is plenty of time spent alone. Self-discovery is crucial in the journey of life, as companions in life may walk the journey with you, but not for you. Knowing yourself fully is necessary to understand how best to feed and nourish the soul, and being alone creates the right atmosphere for it.
"Living on my own has enabled me to create my own space, spend more time doing things I love and explore new hobbies. It has helped me understand myself better and discover myself like never before," shared Afsana Zareen, a banker in her mid-twenties who lives separately from her parents.
Her parents are also supportive of this decision as her mother, Shahana Huda, said, "She is old enough to take decisions on her own and has lived by herself in a foreign country. I am confident that she understands better how she will be happiest and that is what matters."
Being a free spirit
We all hope to live life on our own terms but are often held back by limitations. Moving out and living independently compels one to take ownership and accountability of every choice and decision – a quality that is vital to steer life.
"You can literally do whatever you want!" laughed Samama Rahman, a journalist who moved out of his parent's house few months ago, when asked about the perks of living alone. "However, it is imperative to draw boundaries," he added.
Emphasising on his statement, while living alone enables one to live as a free spirit and enjoy a mammoth amount of freedom, it is also necessary to set boundaries, be more mindful and aware with an increased sense of responsibility. This is key to make the journey of living alone not something regrettable.
While developing human traits is one side of the story, the other side entails career development. In this highly competitive era, there are plenty opportunities to explore, and often times commuting in Dhaka acts as an impediment to grabbing these opportunities.
This was the case for Farhat Hossain, who moved to her university's area to enjoy better campus life and seek part-time opportunities, in order to build her career. Albeit the decision was taken before the pandemic, it remained unchanged even after campus closure as working from home was easier with lesser distractions.
Not only for students, commute is a problem and reason for job holders too.
"Since I took a place near my office, I have been able to capitalise and maximise my time while boosting my productivity and feeling less tired. It also reduced my stress level as I no longer have to worry about reaching home," remarked Quazi Alin, a fulltime job holder who lives in Banani.
Acquiring lifelong skills
Being in a situation where you have to do everything by yourself leaves you with no choice but to learn rudimentary survival skills. These are things we find readily available at home, such as warm cooked food, clothes cleaned and folded, and an organised house.
Not having these at the ready makes one count their blessings and not take everything for granted, along with the realisation of how much parents do for us. However, living alone is also about understanding the nitty-gritty of life and becoming a more disciplined person.
Albeit moving out comes with a great degree of independence, independence comes at a cost. Having to endure the cost of living makes moving out financially draining. Nevertheless, this makes a person more cautious in terms of spending, and enables one to get out of the safety net.
"I think it is for her own good. Now she knows how to manage a house independently and spend more responsibly. If she were married, she would have to live separate from us, so why not allow it for her personal development?" pointed out Reshma Akhter, whose only child moved out.
Tackling unprecedented challenges
The decision of moving out comes with its own set of challenges. While financial is just one aspect, emotional is another.
"Moving out enhances social life but some nights, you miss the warmth of home and search for someone to confide to," said Portia Anwar, a social worker who lives alone. However, this experience reduces the emotional dependency on others.
On the contrary, moving in with like-minded people provides a lifetime of experience, giving a chance to bond with new faces and create a new family. An added hassle for boys is the tedious procedure filled with rejections to find a house for bachelors, whereas for girls, safety remains a major concern.
Moving out is essentially a process that impacts everything in life, from finance to mental health to social life. Although it may be difficult initially, for some people it is for the better. And with a supportive family who do not view this as a negative way of life, moving out can in fact be a life enhancing choice.
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed
Special thanks to MadhubantiAnashua