Guidelines for Living On Your Own For the First Time

Before I log onto Facebook these days, I prepare myself for all the engagement, wedding and baby announcements that will inevitably bounce off of my newsfeed on a daily basis. It’s unrealistic for me to try to avoid Facebook, especially since my job involves social media, so I mentally prepare myself instead. I remind myself that I’m only 26-years old and despite what The Desi community might say, I have plenty of time time to build a family, if my life span allows it. I also remind myself that I am living out my dream; living on my own in a super fun city, meeting incredible people and have an amazing job that allows me to partake in something that does a greater good for the world. I know plenty of girls who would die to live the kind of life I’m living right now, so the least I can do is appreciate it. But, it’s still hard not to feel lonely or miss being in the cocoon of the familiarity that growing up in the Bangladeshi community in New York provided me with.

Being on your own for the first time is plenty tough and being a single brown girl makes it even more complex. If you’re a Desi girl like me that left the nest for the first time at 26, it might take some time before you learn how to do even the most obvious life tasks like paying rent, buying a mattress , figuring out whether or not you should let a guy come upstairs after the first date, etc, etc. Here are some guidelines that I follow/am trying to follow while living out my fabulous new life! Take note, it requires a high level of self-absorption!

Do:

  • Keep your game-face on at all times; whether it’s with your boss, your roommates or your new friends. Let them see you at your best and when they earn your trust, that’s the only time they should witness you at your worst. So, pay your rent on time, dress professionally for work and be on time for appointments!
  • Be responsible for your own happiness. Whether that means splurging on a Marc Jacobs bag or taking a trip to Japan; you are perfectly allowed to treat yourself. Pay your rent, first, though!
  • Keep track of your health. Your body is your main vehicle of life and if you can’t keep it healthy, you risk the chance of everything else crashing down around you.
  • Date guys from every color of the rainbow, ain’t nobody there to judge! But keep it on the down-low if you ultimately want to end up with a brownie (he might not care, but his momma might–that’s just the way it works in the Desi world!).  Hell, date only the brownies if that’s the only thing that floats your boat. Bottom line: date who you want, just be discreet until you know it’s as close to the real deal.
  • Look fabulous when you go back home–show everyone how good YOU are treating life.
  • And remember to take a deep breath and just slow it down sometimes. You don’t need to have plans every weekend, a staycation is sometimes the biggest DO of all.

Don’t:

  • Spend countless hours  on Facebook checking out wedding pics and baby pics with a tub of creamy ice cream by your side. Remember, you left that town/city/country because you wanted to avoid the cookie-cutter lifestyle.
  • Plan trips back home because you feel guilty, go home because you miss your family and friends.
  • Hold back on anything because of  imaginary/potential marriage and baby plans. For example, I want to spend a year abroad writing the heck out of my novel. Now, I can plan to do exactly that in a couple of years or I can throw away my idea because of some dude that’s supposed to show up on my doorstep before I turn 30. Realistically, yes, you might meet the man of your dreams and your game plan might change but cross that bridge when you get to it.
  • Let people tell you how to live your life. The point of moving out and being on your own is so you can shape your life the way you want it!
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