Have You Ever Lived Alone?

For those of you who have been following along, you would know that I moved into a new apartment at the first of the month. This apartment would be the first apartment of my own that I had since I was 19 years old. At that time, I was living on my own, going to university full time and dating a man who lived away. I was in a much different place and although I didn’t realize it at the time, had my whole life ahead of me to figure out. I was focusing on my studies, hanging with my friends and trying to make ends meet.

Fast forward 16 years and I find myself in a very similar space. I am living on my own, focusing on myself, hanging with my friends and boyfriend and trying to make ends meet. Yet, I am so much older and wiser than I was at that time. And because I have experience and part of my life behind me now, I also have a lot of insight.

Living alone is one of the best things I have, and will do for myself. I know that for most people it is a scary and foreign concept, but for me, especially at this point in my life, it feels right. Right in a way that has been missing for quite some time.

Living alone gives me the space to heal. It allows me the chance to not only be alone with my thoughts and the things I am working through, but it also teaches me how to be comfortable with my own company. It has allowed me to feel safe again. Safe in a way where other people’s energies or crisis’ are negatively impacting me. I have spent very little time over the last ten years being truly and solely alone and by doing so, I have to learn to listen, and start to like myself again.

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Living alone gives me the ability to be comfortable with silence again. Although I will fully admit I usually have some music or show playing in the background, there is something to be said for crawling into bed at night and only hearing the sound of your own breathing. Knowing that when you come home at the end of the day, burnt out from all the talking, you don’t have to talk to anyone if you don’t want to. It is refreshing to be able to embrace the silence instead of being afraid of it.

Living alone gives me the chance to appreciate the quality time with the people I surround myself with. It allows me to savor the moments when I am home alone, but it also gives me the chance to savor the time with company as well. The chance to have someone come into my space, be welcomed and offered to stay awhile. This allows me to have control over when and if I want to be present for company or if I want to just go home, put on my Pjs and watch crappy TV. The ability to have that choice gives me a sense of freedom I didn’t even realize I was missing.

Living alone means that I am responsible for my own needs and household tasks. If the apartment is dirty, it’s because I made it that way. If the laundry needs to be done, it is on me to do it. If I want to do nothing but eat chips and sit on my couch all day, that’s my prerogative. It means that I can set up the space to work for me and as I settle in, I can be proud of my space and how it works for me.

And most important of all, living alone means I have the space to grieve. It gives me the chance to feel those emotions that felt too heavy, too hard or too complex to manage when I was not on my own. It will allow me the privacy to cry if I want to cry, yell if I want to yell and laugh if I want to laugh. It gives me the opportunity to continue to do my writing in a space where I can feel whatever emotions that writing may bring up for me. It allows me the chance to be alone with my thoughts, with my feelings and with the life choices I made for myself. It allows me to grieve the life I thought I was going to have so that I can look forward to the life in the future I am going to have. And that is pretty damn powerful.

Do I think I am going to live on my own forever? No. But in this moment, in this space in my life, this is exactly what I need.

“Solitude is where I place my chaos to rest and awaken my inner peace.”

– Nikki Rowe

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