"Everything is on me now and that provides a sense of pride and respect for my own self-sufficiency. This does wonders for my ego."
Six months have elapsed since I moved in to my latest home. I’m nearly 30 and for most of my adult years, I’ve gone from living with my parents, to living with roommates, and then living with my previous partner. I was shocked that I’d gone that long without securing a space of my own—and almost missed the opportunity completely. I’ve discovered some true benefits of living alone and I’m now an advocate for it being a prime experience when single.
An intuitive person by nature, I am very sensitive to my surroundings. My closest friends can attest to my notions on atmosphere and energy. It’s second nature for me to pick up on one’s mood quickly and often, replicate it into my own mutable being. This is a form of empathy and usually creates a stronger connection between me and those whom in which I bond, but isn’t always ideal; it can leave me emotionally drained. For this very reason, I am now selective on whom I befriend and invite over. One thing that living alone has allowed is the control of access to my personal space.
"If I allow just anyone to come in with his or her negative energy, I am also allowing a potential threat to my peace that I’ve worked hard to sustain and protect."
One of the hardest things about sharing space with someone, albeit a partner or roommate, is when you are forced to entertain unwanted guests or some people who overstay their welcome. After experiencing this for years, I no longer allow just anyone in my home nor approve people to invite themselves over at their own discretion. If I allow just anyone to come in with his or her negative energy, I am also allowing a potential threat to my peace that I’ve worked hard to sustain and protect. My personal space is my haven where I can shut out the world and replenish myself. I intend to keep this requirement as a mainstay.
Growing up, I had my own space to be goofy, weird, and even inappropriate. This dwindled when I began to have shared spaces. That isn’t to say I wasn’t comfortable being my authentic self, but there was only so far I would go. Being the sole person under my roof, I find myself being super quirky, laughing extremely loud, dancing at any given moment, and even giving myself pep talks in the mirror. Having someone teasing me or placing judgment isn’t even a factor. After finding comfort in one's own skin and presence, the opinions of others no longer matter.
Another benefit of being head of household, is I have space to fully exhaust my potentially annoying habits; for example, I can play a song repeatedly without someone complaining, bargaining, or even questioning my interests. I can recite the entire script to my favorite movie and even yell at the TV. On the opposing side of the coin, I hold the option to completely shut down emotionally; I have the opportunity to create a space of introspection and work through my feelings alone, without a demanding friend persuading me into talking before I’m ready. When I’m feeling introverted, this makes all of the difference.
"I find myself being extremely quirky, laughing extremely loud, dancing at any given moment, and even giving myself pep talks in the mirror."
Though I miss the days of splitting the bill on rent and utilities, I certainly don’t miss the compromise that comes along with it. I can turn on every light in my apartment and even raise the heat up to 90 degrees, if I delight. There are no chores to be split and personal items remain in the order I conduct. Everything is on me now and that provides a sense of pride and respect for my own self-sufficiency. This does wonders for my ego.
For a very rare moment, I’m accountable to no one but myself and it’s amazing. For most of my existence, I allowed many people to facilitate checks and balances on my decisions. There have been varying unsolicited opinions on what I chose to wear, my belief system, my eating habits, my sex life, and my career; this has come to a screeching halt. This new form of silence has given me the space to take ownership of my life. I come and go as I please and answer to no one. I don’t have anyone’s feelings to safeguard but my own. I can conduct myself as I see fit and not based on a social standard of another.
Living alone has taught me to enjoy my own company. It fosters deep critical thinking and introspection. I am able to discover and expand upon my interests and hobbies. This personal space gives me an opportunity to evaluate whom I am spending my time with interpersonally and make adjustments to ensure I have the right people around me. Ultimately, this is a key season in my adulthood. I’m truly glad I’ve had a moment to experience this before committing to someone, again, for the long haul.