What I’ve Learned About Living Alone

Hello. Greetings. Welcome to my blog humble abode. It’s been a hot minute since I’ve been on here and a lot has changed since we last chatted. Something BIG…er, small, like 600 square feet small. BUT STILL BIG. I also want to be mindful and #woke and recognize the crisis that is COVID-19, which has been another BIG thing lately. Life might feel scary and overwhelming right now, and if you’re having a hard time, it’s okay to talk to someone (that’s a link for free $$$ for virtual therapy. Not sponsored, I just dig it and think you might, too). Hoping you’re all staying safe and taking care of yourselves all on your little lonesomes. Speaking of lonesome…

I got the keys to my very own apartment about two months ago. Me, just Jessica, all alone. Can you BELIEVE?! Actually not compleeeetely alone though lately. God BLESS Austin for hangin’ during quarantine and making my days a little more interesting (and fart-y).

When I was younger, I always imagined what it would be like to live by myself. Alas, thirteen year-old Jess has fulfilled her destiny. It’s been quite the experience so far and I wanted to share just a few of the things I’ve learned in the first couple months.

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SILENCE IS GOLDEN.
I was nervous about this at first. What would it be like to have NO other people around?  To be honest, it has become one of my favorite things about living alone. I don’t have to listen to anyone else’s music, TV shows, phone calls, etc. When I don’t like the silence anymore, it’s as easy as inviting a friend over (not during quarantine, of course. I’m no ignorant noob), calling my mama, or turning on a podcast/playlist of my choice and frolicking around my kitchen. Sometimes all three at once if I’m feeling wild. Who’s gonna stop me?

I HATE PANTS.
This goes without any explanation. Pants suck. When you live alone, you don’t have to be decent. Set your butt cheeks free.

I FEEL MORE PRODUCTIVE AND CREATIVE.
Looking back, being around people 24/7 ran my battery low. I’d start my morning around other people, spend my day around other people, run errands around other people, and come home to be around people. THAT’S A LOT OF PEOPLE. Living alone has allowed my brain and my body to feel energized and creative again rather than drained by the end of the day. I like myself better that way. My little home is a sweet, sweet sanctuary.

I THOUGHT I WAS AN EXTROVERT UNTIL NOW.
I always thought I enjoyed being around people. Don’t get me wrong, I LIVE to spend time with the people I love, but I’ve come to realize that I’m more introverted than I thought. I need to be alone to recharge and decompress. Sometimes, being around others gives me energy and fills me to the brim, but too much of it and I shut down. Truth is, the obligation to be social is one of my least favorite things about living with other people. Wake up, small talk. Come home, small talk. Now that I live alone, I can be around others when I want to, not because I have to.

I CAN SUPPORT MYSELF.
Living alone is expensive. Security deposit, monthly rent, bills, groceries…it’s ALL on me and only me. I’ve realized that it IS possible to live within my means and support myself financially. At first, this was HARD. I know how I get around home decor…and candles…and Culver’s…I’ve had to pick up some odd jobs here and there and cut corners to make it work, but that’s young adulthood. A girl’s gotta eat. I’m proud of myself.

COOKING FOR ONE IS A CHALLENGE.
I grew up in a family of seven. I have no idea what it’s like to make food for ONLY one person. Totally foreign to me. Sometimes, my dinner consists of an entire bag of microwave popcorn or an uneven ratio of spaghetti noodles to sauce. Sometimes I really surprise myself by not screwing up a HelloFresh meal. I’m still learning this one…

I AM CAPABLE OF INDEPENDENCE.
I remember in kindergarten when I would cryyyy my tiny eyeballs out from separation anxiety. I remember being so anxious in college that I’d come back to my parents’ house every weekend. There was always this annoying little devil in my ear that told me I’d never be able to make it alone in my own space. Sorry, little demons *flicks off of shoulder* but I am capable. I’ve learned that I can entertain myself and I’ve grown to love finding new things to occupy my down time. Independence is BEAUTIFUL.

Before I signed my own lease, I was really nervous. I wasn’t sure if this would be good for me or not, or if I would feel incredibly anxious, depressed, and alone. However, I’ve come to realize the complete opposite. Living alone is one of the best decisions I’ve made for myself and I think everyone should try it for a period of time. It’s freeing, challenging, and a little scary, but AMAZING. After all, home is where the blankets, wi-fi, and wine are…and I have plenty of all three. Come on over (post-quarantine, of course).

Love always,

Jessica

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