I Live Alone

I’ve lived alone for almost 9 months now. At first, I was very overwhelmed and rather lonely. I was dealing with two new jobs on top of all of the responsibilities of apartment ownership (more like “rentership”), and because of so many snotty kids, I got sick a lot. I would routinely call my mother and ask stupid questions. I think she sensed my panic, because sometimes groceries would just show up in my fridge while I was at work, and dishes would do themselves (magic!). It was the hugest blessing.

It’s been awhile since a panic-driven phone call (now they’re just regular ones), and I think I’m finally getting the hang of being a real life adult. I’m coping.

I’ve come up with some strategies to keep myself and any fellow lone-dwellers sane. It’s list time.

Buy a plant. I have Cynthia, an overly dramatic plant that doesn’t do well in the sun or near an open window. She’s basically the worst plant ever, but I love her like a mother loves her whiny little child. She makes me aware of the space around me. She draws attention to things I’ve been neglecting. She forces me (in a small way) to care for something other than just me.

Watch a lot of TV. I’m not one to sit and veg every single night, but I do have the TV on quite often. I didn’t have a TV for the first 6 months or so of living here, and I didn’t realize how crazy that was making me. As soon as I got the TV, I found my evenings so much more bearable. Enjoyable, even. TV gets my brain moving. Kevin Arnold is still the best ever.

Cook big meals. Just because I’m alone doesn’t mean I’m eating terribly. I’ll cook a giant meal meant for a family of nine, and freeze the rest for later. Every week I try to buy something new at the grocery store. Last week it was radicchio (ew). Through this process, I’ve discovered that I love goat cheese, beets and brussel sprouts. Any suggestions for what I should try next?

Yell at the parrot in the apartment below you. Sometimes he yells back.

Invite people over. While living at my parents, I was never overly neat and tidy. I couldn’t never understand why my mother was so particular about our living space. I get it now. It’s mine. I don’t want to live in filth. I want to come home to something that makes me happy. However, if I don’t invite people over, I turn into a perfectionist. When people come over they put their feet on my pillows, they sit on my white duvet with their dark wash denim, and they get water spots all over my bathroom mirror. It’s uncomfortable. When people come over, it reminds me that it’s not the end of the world if my place is lived in. That’s what it’s for. Living.

Get out. I’ve started a Zumba class (hate it), Pilates class (like it) and a pottery class (love it). I’m doing things that I didn’t have time to do while I was a student. It’s wonderful.

Write write write. Whether it’s tweets, Facebook messages, emails or actual pieces of writing, living alone lets me write whenever I want. I can write during dinner, when I should be cleaning or when I’m in bed. I can connect with people outside of the apartment at any time of the day. While I’m isolated here, there’s a whole world that can be accessed through words. Twitter is my roommate.

Talk to yourself in silly voices. It’s fun. It also makes your neighbours wonder.

This post is now going to end abruptly.

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8 thoughts on “I Live Alone

  1. When I had to cancel cable to best manage my budget, I joked with my sister about losing my only companions between the 5pm-6:30am hours. There was more truth behind that than I’m proud of.

    I related to so much in this post. I live alone about an hour from my family & friends and I don’t love it, but you’re right on with the suggestions.

    • I used to have five little gold fish and named them all: black,white, red, yellow and spot. Then they died and I REALLY lived alone since.

  2. I bet Cynthia will get a tattoo before her 16th birthday. Count on it. Watch her.

    I want to experiment with food more. And I want to take pottery. I do not want to take pilates.

    Pirates, yes; pilates, no.

  3. I don’t really like Zumba either. I thought I was weird. Everyone else loves it. I love yoga :) ok I asked Jarett about foods you should try. He says kale is gross as are shallots ( I like both) he loves kohlrabi ( like a cross between an apple and a radish ) dragon fruit are cool, just look at them ! He loves beets too. Brussels sprouts are only acceptable when stir fried with bacon and topped with Parmesan cheese. Speaking of cheese all cheese is good the stinkier the better ( gross it makes my fridge smell like feet ) and he likes mashed cauliflower and puffy eggs ( cheese soufflé )

  4. So many other things you said in your post resonated with me too, haha. So good.

    I am new to living alone. I tried the plant thing…it lasted MAYBE two months. Overwatered, it shriveled up and died…Wicked Witch of the West style. Talk about depressing. It was a Jade plant too; they’re supposed to be hearty!!

    As one person, like you I make one large meal and eat it throughout the week. Though, if I have people over and share whatever I just made, suddenly my WEEK’S worth of food is demolished in minutes. The meal I lovingly prepared, in a feeble attempt at being a disciplined young woman (learning how to grow up and be a responsible adult, living on her own)…has been shoved into their faces in a manner of minutes. All the dishes I washed in the aftermath of said culinary finesse have to be dirtied again…just so I can survive the week. I’m learning…It’s hard to be an adult. Period.

    In light of said feelings, I had a friend remind me that there is joy in having dirty dishes, or a need to make more food. It means you HAVE dishes to own, it means you HAVE friends/people that want to spend time with you, it means you are using your new little home (apartment) to bless and serve other people…there is joy in that! If my end goal is to glorify God…then there can and is joy in serving, in giving up “comforts”. He sees me. He has not left me or forsaken me. I am His, and He is intimately aware of how I feel and how I do life…He was the one who orchestrated it in the first place! :)

  5. Once again, reading one of your posts made me smile. I highly support your “get a plant” advice, though it sometimes leads to sadness. Two of mine slowly died from an unknown cause and the rest were brutally murdered by circumstances outside of my control. I was especially sad about one plant, it was so soft that sometimes I pet it. :)

    Don’t watch tv, get audiobooks! They’re great for while you’re cooking and cleaning (at least, I like those better than background tv). Leftovers are awesome to take to work…or just to eat at home. With inviting people over, I’m the opposite, I keep my place cleaner if I have people over. I talk in different accents and tones when I have a long car trip by myself. I think you should add solo dance parties to the list, they’re great, especially while cooking or when you have nervous energy.

    If you like peanut butter and you like dill pickles, you should try a dill pickle and peanut butter sandwich. Have you found any gluten free bread you like? I imagine it would be good with a sunflower seed based bread. Fresh asparagus sauteed al dente with a little salt, butter, and minced garlic is pretty awesome. If you’ve tried canned asparagus and hated it, then you still may like fresh (I can’t stand the canned but love the other). If you have a pancake recipe you can use, have pancakes with bananas, peanut butter, and syrup (washed down with milk, of course).

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