It really is impressive how your life can change in a year. Exactly one year ago, I moved out of a townhouse I shared with my then-boyfriend and into a new apartment all by myself for the very first time. Everyone has always told me that you need to live alone at least once in your life. I definitely agree with that now. Though, after living alone for a year, I don’t know how I will go back to living with someone…even a husband. I think Olivia will back me up on this because she’s not willing to forfeit her half of the bed.
In the last 365 days, I’ve learned a lot about myself in living alone. I want to share my lessons with you.
- It’s so hard cooking for one! This was one of the first things I wrote about on Adventures in Nonsense. It’s a lot harder to implement self control. Which leads me to…
- Leftovers are the best. Previously, I would bring a sandwich or a salad for lunch, and found myself getting hungry again around 3:00pm. Once I started bringing actual meals, that wasn’t happening. I was eating smarter calories and filling up much better than with a hodge podge of things from my kitchen.
- It’s nice not having to ask permission or negotiate what to watch on TV. The first thing I did when I moved in? Watched Friends from start to finish for the first time ever. It was amazing. If I want to watch The Office for the 8th time in a row, I can do that!
- Loneliness is something you need to be okay with. When living alone, you live alone. If you’ve had a bad day, there’s no one to hug you to make you feel better. If you’ve had a great triumph, there’s no one there to pop the champagne with you. Phone calls home or texts to friends can only get you so far.
- All those chore you hate doing…you have to do them anyway. I love to cook, but hate doing dishes. There is no “I’ll cook, you clean.” when it’s just you. This goes for putting dishes away, laundry, cleaning, etc.
- There’s pink in my house! My favorite color will always be pink. Living alone, you can have a pink sparkly table runner, and no one tells you know.
- I’ve been able to hone in on my personal design aesthetic. I love Joanna Gaines. She is one person who I would be willing to hand my keys to and let her do whatever she wanted to my home. So, with some inspiration from her and some pieces I’ve found and loved…I’ve settled on ‘farmhouse chic’. Lots of dark stain with light colors.
- I’m not as handy as I thought I was. I had this grand plan for my bed that involved curtain lights and white sheer curtains. I have a queen size bed and a large wall I needed to fill. Six curtain panels. One extra long curtain rod. I tried so hard to hang it all by myself…but I couldn’t do it. The shower head in my apartment was practically welded on, and I needed help to change it out.
- Budgeting is key. I’ve always been financially intelligent. Moving out on my own doubled my expenses (as I wasn’t sharing them with any roommates). Keeping a budget in mind is imperative for being successful.
- You do you. This has been my favorite thing. Every night, I read for more than an hour before I turn out the light, with Olivia curled up in my lap. I work out daily in the comfort of my own home. I can cook whatever meal I want (One night, I ate brussel sprouts…just brussel sprouts). In the fall, I went home every weekend to spend precious time with my niece.
I was terrified of living alone. I feared that I would just be alone. However, I have developed closer friendships with those near and dear to my heart. I’ve rekindled friendships that I lost when I was in a relationship. I’ve become more adventurous! I have the opportunity to say “YES!” to me more, without a boyfriend or a family making it so that I have to consider others’ feelings. While living alone was one of the harder things I’ve done, it’s also one of the most rewarding.
I’m ready for the next step, whatever that may be. This last year has been spent getting myself in order, and now I feel that I can go forth and tackle anything.