It’s official. I live alone. Over the weekend I signed my first solo lease and moved into my one bed/one bath with the help of a stellar moving crew – my family and bf. The majority of last week was spent packing and deciding what was coming with me. The night before, everything was stored in the garage to prepare for the following-day transition. Move-in day would’ve been chaotic enough excluding the fact John and I had his sister’s wedding at 4 p.m. Luckily, with the combined effort of six people, we got everything in the apartment in record time, and we got to the wedding early.
It’s been a few days since move-in, and I’ve had the opportunity to get my stuff more organized. With a couple shopping trips completed and internet installed, it’s starting to feel more like a home. But that’s doesn’t change the fact that I live alone, which is a situation I’ve never been in before. I’ve always had roommates or family around. The air was always filled with conversation or footsteps. Now, it’s mostly silent with the occassional exceptions of distant barking or hallway chatter.
Before I moved in, I was so sure I wanted to live alone. For months I dreamed about the freedom I would have in my own place:
- The layout and design of the whole space
- Full control of the thermostat settings
- Status of neatness or sloppiness (i.e. dirty dishes)
- Ability to walk around half-dressed
- No time constraints or restrictions on company
- No worries about stuff being used without permission
While these are nice selling points, there are a couple downsides that will take some getting used to: increased feelings of loneliness and anxiety.
- Anxiety: Before bed, I venture to my front door to double and triple-check the locks. Then a strange noise later on will prompt me to check them again. While a heightened alertness is good, it also increases stress.
- Loneliness: To cope with the prolonged silence, I always have a movie or music playing. This gives me the illusion that I’m not completely alone.
“When I first lived alone, I was all about the freedom, but I also felt desperately lonely (and scared, and overwhelmed, etc.). It was a major change, and one that took a while to get used to.” – Carolyn Steber, BUSTLE
In a stroke of luck, when I was on Google searching for an image to include in this post, I stumbled across a BUSTLE article by Carolyn Steber called, “13 Tips For Living Alone For The First Time & Making The Most Of Your Independence.” As the title implies, it listed 13 ways to make the concept of living alone more enjoyable, safe and less lonely. It was a blessing to stumble across the words of a woman who has been in my shoes. I know now that it’s permissable for me to feel a cluster of emotions regarding this transition. A lifechanging transition like this won’t sink in a day. It will take time, like all good things do.