I love doing things alone. Growing up having multiple surgeries, living in the middle of no where and being in love with horses when my family was not, I was forced to go through things and do things alone. Some people, actually most people look at me like I’m crazy when I want to go on a trip by myself or just do things by myself. I was lucky enough to spend a whole summer in Colorado and travel to Arizona over the last two years by myself. But there is something different about going through things alone to then taking the next step to living alone. Here are just a few things I have learned so far:
I thought I was independent before living alone but while living alone I have gained a whole new level of what being independent means. No one else is there to help you hang up that picture, motivate you, kill that big bug, wash your dishes or help you break into your apartment when you forgot your keys (yes this has happened to me, yes I successfully made it in through the window..) etc. Doing all of these things and more help you find out what it truly means to be independent.
- How to cook
I found out I can only live off of chips and dip, and nachos for so long until I decided it is time to learn how to cook and eat healthy. With that being said, cooking for one person is a lot harder than it should be and I am still learning how to do this effectively. I still hate it, but I am slowly learning how to appreciate it more.
I can do what ever I want and no one would ever know… lets just say that pants sometimes seem like a waste of time, I can have random dance break outs, relax a lot and go on random adventures around town and no one will ever know... But lets not forget even though I have freedom, I also have responsibilities… like work and bills…
- Taking care of myself
When living alone you finally have the time to truly focus on yourself. It has really given me the time to focus on being healthy and finding balance in this chaotic world.
- Making peace with my past
Any friendship or the relationship that didn’t workout, scars or things that didn’t go my way, now I have been forced to look at myself in the mirror and work through it all on my own. I have overcome my past but I know I didn’t fully make peace with the world for making me go through such extreme amount of physical and emotional pain. Not just once but over and over and over again during and after every surgery. While living alone I have been able to fully work through my frustrations and anger at the world (and people) and find peace within myself. This is something I do still continually have to work on but I now know with support I do not have to live in anger, even though that is what drove me to be successful for so long.
For me learning to live in the moment and practicing mindfulness has kind of become my obsession over this past year. This is something I have actually been able to take more time then usual to work while living alone, helping me work though all the emotional pain from the surgeries I have had over the last couple years. Journaling, yoga and tea have become my new and favorite addictions.
- Who you can count on
Who were just my college friends, who are life long friends…? I still can’t answer that but just like I have learned this throughout college, I am learning contiunly who are people that I can count on and who are not. Who are the people that will stay in the past and who will also be in my present and future.
- Solitude with being completely alone
There is a huge difference between being alone and lonely. Learning how to be alone and be content with it is something I have had to learn over the years throughout high school, college and travels. Sometimes it does take more practice. When it seems like everyone around you is in a relationship, getting married and wanting to start a family it can be hard sometimes. That being said, even though it can be hard. I wouldn’t chage it for anything.
- How important communication is
I have met such a variety of people and how you say and communicate things, is everything! I see it in my family, my job and even my friendships. It is a very valuable skill. This includes verbal, non-verbal and phone/text/email communication. How you word things and the way you present it is EVERYTHING! I am learning to improve my communication with others daily even though we live in a world that is constantly connected yet more disconnected then ever.
Managing my money and pay check is very important! Especially since living alone is a lot more expensive than having roommates.
- You will grow and learn more things about yourself that you didn’t even know you could
- I could die, and no one would find my body for weeks….
No seriously if something happened to me, would someone know about it?.. no one would know something happened to me….
- To not care what other people think so much
- And most importantly, how to love myself
While living alone there is a lot of quite time to let you ponder your thoughts and life. I have found myself content with my thoughts and feelings but it has taken some practice. There is no escaping your thoughts and feelings, you have to learn to deal with them on your own.
Living alone (as well as traveling alone) has given me the opportunity to learn to love life by myself, how to achieve my goals and try the things that I have always wanted to try. As well as also find the balance so that I don’t get burned out. I know myself and I know that if I’m not careful I will spread myself so thin and be miserable because I am doing to much. Living alone has taught me the value of managing my time and taking care of myself and setting boundaries in order for me to be happy and be productive in my life.