It’s been a little over a year since I moved into my apartment, my first place living completely on my own.
I was both nervous and excited about living alone. I was grateful that I was able to find an apartment within my budget because the last thing I wanted to do was find a roommate. I worried about getting lonely, feeling unsafe, and paying all the bills on my own. But I was thrilled about having a space entirely my own, not having to worry about working around another roommate’s quirks, and walking around my apartment sans pants whenever I wanted.
I didn’t realize how unhappy I had been living in Tampa until I moved into this little apartment in St. Petersburg, where I’m closer to my mom and my friends. Don’t get me wrong – I loved living with Roomie and I am so thankful that I got to spend a year being her roommate, but Tampa is not where I’m meant to be. I have a lot of friends who live in Tampa and love it, but it’s not for me. I’m glad I tried it out, but I’m even more glad to be a St. Petersburg resident once again.
I’m a homebody and a bit of a hermit, so I really enjoy having a space I don’t have to share. I actually enjoy coming home to a quiet and empty apartment; it brings me so much pleasure. I know most people hate that, but it’s soothing to me. After a day at work where I’ve been bombarded by bright lights and people and conversations and emails, it’s so comforting to come home to my apartment where I don’t have to talk to anyone. I can simply take a bubble bath, make dinner, and snuggle into bed early – alone with my thoughts, my books, and my dog. Those nights are so precious to me and I cherish them.
It helps that when I come home to my quiet apartment at the end of the day, I’m enthusiastically greeted by my dog. So, I’m not coming home to a literal empty apartment – there’s still a living being here that I have to take care of. But, thankfully, a living being that doesn’t expect more from me than walks, food, and snuggles. He’s A-OK in the silence, not needing to fill it with inane conversation or a jabbering TV in the background. It’s honestly the best of both worlds and I know it helps me to feel less alone.
I like that I can be as messy or as clean as I want to be without worrying about making a roommate annoyed at me. I’m not a naturally messy person, but sometimes the dishes stay in the sink for longer than a day or a countertop becomes a dumping ground for junk before I take the time to sort through it. It also means that I don’t have to contend with anyone else’s mess. I wouldn’t be able to handle a messy roommate, nor one who loved clutter, because both of those things give me anxiety. For the most part, my countertops are clear and my sink is free of dishes and my floors are swept and mopped frequently. One of the best parts of living alone: my mess is my mess alone and nobody else’s.
There are downsides to living alone. All the household bills are up to me, which scared me at first, but hasn’t been a problem in this last year. I’m the one responsible for killing the bugs and batting down the spider webs (thankfully, I’ve been bug-free and only have had to deal with one spider web). It can be lonely, especially if I have an entire weekend without plans. As much as I love plan-free weekends, there is such a thing as too much alone time. But the loneliness hasn’t been too difficult to deal with. I’ve managed to fill up my life with dinner dates with friends, time spent with my mom, and group classes at the gym. And I know if I am feeling lonely and craving human interaction, I can reach out to my friends and they’ll be there for me. As a single lady nearing thirty, I am oh-so-grateful for that.
Living alone isn’t everyone’s cuppa tea, but man, it has been a completely wonderful experience for me. It truly makes me happy and while I do hope this isn’t it for me – I’d like to be married and I’d like to have a family – I feel utterly thankful that I get to live alone and that I enjoy it as much as I do.