So I’m moving tomorrow to my new apartment to live (cue dark and ominous music) alone. Today I went out to greet our nana, Gloria, and she said, “Abby!!! I found out you were leaving us! To live all alone! Aren’t you sad? Who is going to clean for you? Who is going to make your bed? You’re going to have to make all your own food!”
So granted her reaction was probably the most anguished I’ve heard so far, I’ve been met with various degrees of surprise/awe from a variety of people in my life when I’ve told them I’m going to be living alone. “Solita? De verdad?” (All alone? Really?) is the response I get most often.
There are a few explanations that I can think of. The first and foremost is that I am young by Chilean standards. At my age, most Chileans are still in college and the vast majority still have about 5 years of living with their parents ahead of them. The reasons for this are complex and mostly related to money, but I’ll save that for another post. The fact that I’m living alone at such a young age is surprising to most Chileans, perhaps just as surprising as the fact that I left my family thousands of kilometers away to live in Chile.
I’m sure most people are also concerned for my safety, which is sweet of them. I too am always concerned about my safety, so that makes a lot of us worrying about me getting robbed or worse. However, I purposefully picked an apartment less than one block from the metro in a neighborhood that is quite active with lots of people around. No dark alleys or side streets for me! Plus, my friend lives in the same building so that’s always comforting. I should also probably add that my building has 24 hour doormen and I have a dead bolt lock on my door. See? I really am concerned for my safety.
My last theory is linguistic in nature. In Spanish the word for alone and lonely are the same: solo. In English the two words are obviously related, but it’s very clear when you’re talking about one or the other. The fact that the word is the same in Spanish reflects perhaps a cultural need to be accompanied (acompañado). Although most times from context you can tell whether a person is talking about being alone or being lonely, there is obviously a deeper connection between the ideas in Spanish than in English.
Anyhow, I wrote this blog post while seriously procrastinating the packing job I am facing today. I’ll probably be without internet for a few days, so bear with me if the blogging is light, and wish me luck. After all, this is my first time living solita.