Since I was small, I dreamed of how thrilling it would be to live in my own little chic apartment in a city. Along with a miniature black labradoodle ironically named Cochon (means “pig” in French), I would have a true Carrie a la ‘Sex in the City’ lifestyle. Today, some of those things are true – I live on my own, I’ve decorated an apartment to my liking, and my urban home is indeed quaint (the adorable dog and fabulous shoe collection are still a work in progress). Leaning slightly more on the introverted side of the personality scale, I deeply enjoy living alone. But I won’t deny there have been a few challenging moments I didn’t anticipate. Here are a few things I’ve learned so far on my journey:
1. How far from home are you really?
About a month into being in my apartment, I realized all my dishes were organized the same way as in my childhood home – plates to the left of the stove and glasses on the shelf above. It was almost comical noticing I’d adopted my father’s extreme neatness and mother’s particular ways of taking care of the house. Who knew everything would come full circle?
2. You are now the bug-killer, toilet-fixer, and furniture-assembler.
All the terrifying and annoying things you would typically ask your dad, a male friend, or a roommate to do become your job. Aside from bug-killing, which admittedly challenged my entire existence, I am proud to say I’ve turned into quite the handy-woman. Don’t worry, it all gets easier with practice.
3. Being yourself, in all your weirdness, never felt so good.
Want to eat waffles for three nights straight without anyone judging you? Go for it. Feel like spending 4 hours watching old episodes of ‘Hey Arnold’? Sure, you can. Living by yourself provides the freedom to do what you want on your own time. It doesn’t get much better than that.
4. “Responsible” becomes your middle name.
When you are living alone, you only have yourself to depend on, so you think about everything. For example, you regularly check your mail because there are no longer roommates to do it for you. You take care of your plants and even remember to water them extra when you go out of town. It’s the little things that make you feel like a real adult.
5. You learn about yourself.
Out of everything living alone has taught me, this point is most valuable. Many of us are used to college or other environments where we are constantly surrounded by people. Living alone has given me the opportunity to figure out what works for me in terms of a daily routine that allows me to be productive, relaxed, and focused.
Living by myself was something I have always wanted to challenge myself with. So far, it has been such a rewarding experience. For those considering making the same decision, I say, go for it. You won’t know until you try!