This last weekend marked the one year anniversary of my living alone for the first time in my life. Before getting married, I had always lived with my parents, or dorm mates or roommates, primarily for financial reasons. When the marriage ended, I was fortunate enough to be able to afford to keep the house and live in it alone. It was an exciting, but scary prospect. For the first couple of months, I heard every strange noise in the dark, and kept pepper spray by the bed (ok, I still do). But soon, I felt comfortable and relatively safe and settled in to enjoy the time alone.
There are a few things I miss about having roommates. Most of these fall into the category of ‘shared responsibility.’ Having someone to share the chores, whether it’s doing the dishes, taking out the trash, or vacuuming. The last few weeks at work have been so stressful, and I’ve been taking work home nearly every night. My coworkers are in the same situation, but they’re all married. When they work at home in the evenings, they still have someone who cooks them dinner, and washes clothes and keeps the house organized. I eat fast food or delivery, have dishes piled up for a week and am digging deep to find the granny panties in the back of the drawer ‘cause nothing else is clean. I miss having someone who can step up when I can’t do much, and then being able to return the favor when it’s their turn.
I also miss the entertainment – there’s always a funny story to share, personal problems to discuss or even just a night sharing a fun tv show. Facebook and texting make this much easier (which explains my frequent postings), but its not as much fun as snark in person. And it’s fun to have a readily available buddy to go shopping with, or go on impromptu movie outings.
On the other hand, there is so much I enjoy about living alone. There is the lack of responsibility – if I don’t want to do dishes, I don’t have to. If I want to throw my clothes on the floor, I can. If I wanna curl up on the couch and eat junk food and watch tv all night, no one can make me feel guilty except myself. Of course, then I’m stuck cleaning up later (see above).
I enjoy the quiet. I don’t have to be “on”, I don’t have to talk about my day or answer questions like “is everything ok” when I just want to chill out and read all night.
And really, my friends aren’t that far away, and are still crazy enough to talk me into a midnight showing of the latest Twilight movie on a work night (thanks Stef!) or IM all night about the ridiculous costumes on Dancing with the Stars (Becky!)
I still get nervous sometimes. I own a gun now (Smith & Wesson M&P .45). I go jogging with pepper spray attached to my wrist and a switchblade clipped to my waistband (you never can be too careful).
But overall, I love living alone. I feel like I am finally the strong, independent woman I always thought I could be! (Although, I really should hire a maid service).