For all of my life, I have cycled from living with with family, to friends, to boyfriends, back with family again, and only now, at the age of 30, I am finally experiencing the freedom of living alone. Many people believe that living on your own is lonely, however, I believe that in those lonesome moments, we are given the opportunity to discover more of who we are. The truth comes out behind closed doors, and how are we ever going to experience that truth if we don’t give ourselves the space to do so.
The thought of living alone has always appealed to me, my circumstances however didn’t grant me that want. Finances were always tight and rooming with others just seemed more affordable. Travel was always priority, so saving up while living at my moms was only logical. Also, the thought of committing to a place was scary to me, as I wouldn’t have the freedom to come and go as I pleased. Living alone just seemed too “adult” and too unrealistic for me at that point in my life. But as 30 was approaching, I realized that I needed to take this step in order to experience the growth of living alone. Living on my own has not prevented me from experiencing my much needed adventures, it’s been an adventure in itself.
Discovering your style. Furnishing my living space has been so enjoyable. It really allowed for me to discover my style, which I’m learning is a combination of bohemian, southwestern, and a little urban. The feeling of being in an environment that you have thoughtfully created, feels a little dreamlike. To see the artifacts that I have collected over the years from travel displayed on my walls, is almost like reliving such precious moments I once experienced. I’ve painted my walls in turquoise and rosy pinks and strategically placed my portraits and paintings in places that please me. I’ve even begun learning about plants I’m most drawn to. (I never knew a thing about plants previously!) Every corner in my apartment is inspired by shapes, and colors and sentiments of stories once lived. It’s an extension of me, and seeing my visions come to fruition is a pretty magical experience.
Genuine expression. So much of the time when we are living with others, we have to behave in certain ways, often refraining from acting on our natural impulses in fear we may offend or be judged. Living on my own, I can be who I am, I can feel what I want and I can behave in whatever manner feels genuine to me at that moment. By allowing ourselves to authentically express, we become more in tune with who we are and what we’re about. And by consistent natural expression, we gradually learn to be that way outside of our safe space, fully expressing our unique selves within the world. We are a product of our environment. When we create and live in an environment that allows for self expression, we become that.
Alone time is the best time. So many people are afraid of being alone. Afraid that the silence might bring unpleasant thoughts to surface. I believe that the silence is an opportunity to welcome such thoughts that need to be acknowledged and perhaps processed. Our minds are constantly being distracted, therefore we suppress so many feelings throughout the day in order to complete the next task at hand. Having a silent space at the end of the day to reflect on our thoughts and feelings is vital for our mental health. So much of our mental distress comes from suppressed thoughts and emotions that never get acknowledge. I’ve cried countless times in my own home, just because I could. The tears were a result of so many different feelings and thoughts that I allowed to surface. It felt so liberating, as well as a little strange, to allow my body to have it’s natural reactions, which perhaps I would’ve suppressed if my roommate was in the room next door.
Boredom sparks creativity. I love spending time at home and being without something to do. I really make an effort to not watch TV, that way it forces me to engage in some type of activity. Living with a roommate or parent, I would either find myself engaging with them or avoiding them by being on my phone or on TV. With my spare time now, I’ve personally been doing more writing, hence my most recent blog posts. Sometimes I’ll pick up a book and read, sometimes cook something new or make art. If you use living alone to your advantage, it could be a vessel to much creative expression and discovery. So many of my hobbies came about by boredom (i.e. jewelry making, photography, videography, shirt making, writing, painting).
Living alone can be such an enlightening experience, as it allows us the space and the silence to get in tune with our deeper selves. Sometimes the most uncomfortable of situations are those that we need to immerse ourselves in in order to grow, so that we can realize that that too, we can conquer.