I should have known this day would eventually come. From a young age I always enjoyed accomplishing things on my own. Not to say I didn’t love people and their presence, but I certainly loved being all by myself. For the last two, almost three years, I had a problem settling in one place; not that it’s odd for someone my age to do. Commitment phobia, what can I say? But here’s the thing, if you haven’t moved around more than six times within the same year while you’re young and have the ability to…go do it. And I mean now.
After going back and forth between universities, countries, and what seemed like all of life’s hardest decisions, I finally found myself committed and planted at Southern Methodist University where I’ll be getting one of those diploma things. After weeks of apartment and roommate searching I decided it was time. I was making big changes in my life and that meant I was doing them alone. After living alone for five months now, I’ve compiled a list of pros and cons that come with living alone. In the end, what seems like a silly list has given me the answer: a sound peace of mind I was searching for all along. There are plenty of pros and cons to living alone. In figuring them out alone, I found myself…just me, happy. I’d like to think that was the way it was meant to be.
Pro: No one else is filthying up your apartment.
Con: I have to take out the trash. Yep, that heavy, smelly pile of junk you have no clue as to how it piled up within a week…that’s all you baby.
Pro: I can listen to my favorite song 10-50 times, on repeat.
Con: My neighbors most likely have a plan to murder my iHome…and probably me.
Pro: I have full authority over what and who comes into my apartment.
Con: I have to kill things.
Pro: You can be alone when you want to be alone.
Con: You’re always alone. Those Life Alert necklace commercials are becoming more and more appealing everyday.
Pro: My place looks like me. I can decorate my place like a young woman would and not have to worry about anybody’s opinion. Are you paying for this apartment? No? Great. Then yes this birdcage is going right here, next to the adorable Anthropologie aprons that match my dishtowels. And yes the accent wall shall be a deep purple and I will have a vintage floral chair with an antique gold sofa. Yep.
Con: When you do bring a guy home they usually judge the amount of accent pillows you have and your ability to fit the entire color wheel into 650 sq. feet.
Pro: You begin to love yourself more. I buy myself flowers every week. Some of my friends make fun of it but honestly, there’s nothing like giving yourself a little love and reminding yourself, “I deserve love.”
Con: When someone buys you flowers all your vases are used. Awkward…
Pro: You can be naked as much as humanly possible. In fact, you can do everything naked. Nothing beats cooking naked, getting into bed naked, waking up naked and repeating it all over again the next day…naked. Embrace your birthday suit.
Con: There are crumbs in your bed, your apartment is beginning to resemble a fraternity house and you’ve seen every episode of New Girl, twice.
Pro: You can cook whatever you want, whenever you want. You want to eat breakfast food for dinner? Then you make that entire batch of 12 pancakes and have at it. You want Mexican food 4 nights in a row? You enjoy that giant bowl of guacamole, you beautiful creature.
Con: You cooked too much food and there’s no one to help clean the mountain of dirty dishes in the sink.
Pro: You can sleep with the light on or any other abnormal habits and not have to worry about it bothering someone.
Con: Putting sheets on your bed, alone, has proven to be the hardest thing known to mankind. Also, if a noise wakes you up in the night, most likely you’re about to be murdered and no one will save you. Ladies, sleep with a knife.
Pro: You can try any crazy workouts on TV and not worry about looking stupid.
Con: You quit after three minutes and grab a snickers bar; downfall of having no one to push you to actually make your health a priority.
Pro: You can cry, laugh, and feel any emotion that overwhelms you. You have the room to cry alone, moan alone, dance moronically and curse the world alone — whatever. You can do it and the truth is you have to do it.
Con: Sometimes you strongly believe you’re on the verge of insanity.
Pro: Your dog, cat, bird, ferret, whatever teaches you the beauty of unconditional love. You will also learn what it means to truly love something other than yourself.
Con: You wonder if you’ll actually ever like people again.
Living alone means you can make mistakes in private and not have to worry about others judging you for them. You can bring someone home or show an old fling your goodies without having to explain your relationship to your friends. You have the room to realize on your own which decisions are mistakes and which are not. When you live alone the chaos stops for a bit and you can tune into what’s really going on in your brain and your heart. You realize who it is you miss and who it is you truly want. You realize how precious time is and those worthy of it.
Living alone means more control over your narrative, essay, story, journey, whatever you like to call it. It’s life sticking a pen into your hand and saying, “Go ahead, make a choice or two or 100, but do it regardless.” The thing I’ve learned is they all won’t be right and they’re not supposed to be. Some will knock you down but others will lead you to places beyond what you’ve imagined. Those are the ones you’re looking for. It takes a lot of courage to finally step into who you are, alone. It’s a scary, lonely journey but it’s the most beautiful journey you will ever take. The space that you open your heart to alone will become your nest. It’s the first decision of many on a long trip to become who you were always meant to be. Give yourself a chance to go it alone and get to know your soul.
Discovering your strength is one of the greatest gifts a person can give oneself. When you’re able to sustain life alone, it really helps you think highly of yourself. You’re out there, working, solving, and going through life’s struggles with a strong, clear head. It does wonders for your self-esteem and bravery. It really reminds you how capable and worthy you are of living a healthy, beautiful life. Living alone is a reminder that you don’t need to be dependent on others to define your happiness and your whole life. It drastically changed my perception of myself. Even though it seems a little scary, I promise you’ll find you’ll be in the best company.
If you need an extra push, give this a listen.