Lessons Learned from Living Alone
This is the first time I am truly living on my own. When I studied abroad in Spain I was placed with a Spanish family. When I went away to college I moved in with hundreds of other students. When I was offered my first full-time position I moved back home with family. And now that I am in Australia living in a studio apartment with only me and myself I've come to learn a few things:
1. Pants are optional. Once I shut the door to my studio apartment I wear, or don't wear, whatever I choose. With no family bustling around and no friends to walk in accidentally I feel a bit more... free (pun intended).
2. The real troubles are the ones that never crossed your worried mind. I thought living on your own meant worrying about how to keep track of the bills and dealing with how to kill a spider on the wall without screaming for help. Turns out bills aren't so bad now-a-days with automatic deposits and withdrawals. And those spiders, which in my case are cockroaches- well, as the Aussie's will tell you, you get used to them.
The real troubles? They're the ones you didn't conjure up in your head. For me, that was realising I have carpet and no vacuum - and then realising I have no storage or money for an actual vacuum. I settled for a hand vac...which makes cleaning my studio an "on-all-fours" type of workout. Or trying to cook everything in the one sauté pan I own so that I don't have to waste money on kitchenware I will throw away in a year.
3. You - and your plants - depend on you. You are the only one stocking the fridge, you are the only one doing laundry, and you are the only one who is going to water the plants on the balcony. I often forget that last one.
When living with roommates or family you forget how much you depend on other's snack food. Now that I do all the shopping, and since I am on a budget, I often find myself later in my studio searching for those chips dad always got from Trader Joe's, or the trail mix my friend kept on her side of the cupboard...
4. You are weirder than you thought. You thought you were weird before? Live in a room by yourself for a few weeks and then see what you turn into. Replay that song 10x and practice dance moves - nobody is around! Try all the free scientific 7-minute youtube workout videos in the nude (refer back to #1). Take as many photo booth distorted images that you want featuring your double, or triple, chins.
5. Find out how clean you are (or not). Maybe it wasn't just your roommate leaving their dishes in the sink? Maybe it wasn't your brother who left their bath towel around? Living on your own takes away all the doubt. It's you.
Or, you may find out that you are freakishly clean and organised. And you may realise you have a compulsive need to wash the dishes immediately. It probably doesn't come as a big surprise to many, but in case there were any doubts, this is definitely me.
6. You can live with a lot less. Wants and needs become a lot clearer (ie: furniture shopping in Ikea and wanting everything I saw, but leaving with only a mattress, chair, table and microwave).
7. Wine is not just for social events. Wine is for after a day at work. Wine is for movie watching. Wine is for kindle reading. Wine is for cheese nibbling. Wine is for when you're cooking. Living on my own has gotten me to appreciate the luxury of a glass of wine by yourself.
Awesome post! =)
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