Nothing, not even an istikhara could stop me this time.
The subject of me moving out and living in a different city had been floating around in the family for a while now. This time, last year, one istikhara in particular came up like the bin bulaye mehmaan to ruin months of planning. Anyway, now that I’ve successfully relocated to Lahore, I come bearing some wisdom on how to take the plunge from your oh-so-comfortable humble abode to a sloppy new city full of possibilities.
For starters, establish the need for the move and justify it with your career trajectory in mind. Explain to your parents that this is your path and in order to climb up, you need to move out.
In my particular case, as is in any creative field, my parents always considered MangoBaaz as a “short stint”. You know, like the u-turn you accidentally take before finally realising google maps navigation is bonkers. So, they always considered my work as a temporary arrangement until I land something far worthier of my time. Two years later, it was time to explain to my folks that this, mama and babs, is real and it’s very much part of the plan. I don’t blame them, the way things started was almost too surreal for them and well, the concept of going the distance with your workplace was also fairly novel.
Second, drop hints.
Tried and tested far too many times. Your girl always had issues with asking for permission. Instead, I would casually bring up the birthday party a week in advance, ask mum what I should wear? What I should take as a birthday present? Bring it up a few times so they think it was their idea to begin with. I’m more than happy to report that this is exactly the kind of trickery I deployed in my current mission. I’d call up my folks and talk to them, at length, about searching for the right place. Ask my dad whether I should (hypothetically) rent an apartment or a house portion in Defense? ‘Apke khyaal mein security wise kya behtar hoga?’ Talk about my future flatmate as if she’s a part of my day to day life already. Discussed the costs of moving out and how I planned on budgeting. I even brought up finding an appropriate maid and the friendly neighborhood auntie who can cater food for bachelors like me.
The details are everything which brings me to my next point, in continuation: Have a feasible plan ready to go.
Floating ideas won’t do it. You have to take charge by working on budgeting
– How you’ll manage to live by yourself?
– What’s the commute like?
– How far is work?
– Can you make ends meet on your own?
– How your flatmate is not a serial killer?
– How you won’t be passed out like a drunk sailor while your cleaning lady robs you of your latest Sephora haul.
and so on, so forth…
But most of all, mentally prepare yourself for the challenge.
Getting everybody else on board for the move isn’t half as difficult as getting the nod from your inner monologue.
Yes, your expenditures multiply.
Yes, the responsibility is paramount.
Just feeding yourself on a regular basis is one of the hardest shit I’ve done. True story.
First week in and I’ve already had
a flat tyre in the middle of nowhere,
Managed to not buy water and almost dehydrate in the Lahori heat.
Had to deal with this uncomfortable situation.
In today’s episode of girl in the big city: the trial kaamwali came over at the same time as the original kaamwali and there was a mildly uncomfortable situation where I was forced to deny the new one’s existence.
‘aap kaun hein, behen?’ was heard repeatedly.
— h (@HaadeaP) April 25, 2018
Got stranded in the middle of the road and hired some special towing service:
Only in Lahore ? pic.twitter.com/9GJjT9Ubss
— h (@HaadeaP) May 2, 2018
Burnt my arm while ironing and forgot to lock the apartment while leaving in a rush to get to work.
And clearly couldn’t afford my expensive lifestyle:
Trying to cut dairy out of your life is so expensive. Only bought olive butter, soy milk and lactofree cream cheese so far and I’m already dreading the rest of my life.
— h (@HaadeaP) April 25, 2018
But it feels damn good to be the strong, independent woman I’ve always dreamt of being.