with equal parts compassion & hilarity

A Few Thoughts on Living Alone

I live alone in a highly affordable little efficiency apartment.

The Important Things About My Apartment

  • It’s directly across the street from a retirement home where a giant Land-O-Lakes semi-truck delivers milk at 6:00 a.m. Monday through Friday. I’ve grown to find comfort in the consistency of the daily occurrence.
  • There are a few bullet holes in the main window from what I suspect to be the result of a BB gun. Fargo, remember?
  • There is a closet between the kitchen and the bathroom so when you open the doors on both sides you can see all the way through to the other room which is a major perk because…well…it just is, I guess.
  • Every once in a while, usually at 1:30 a.m., I need to get up, walk outside and press the buzzer for my apartment. I’m not entirely sure why or how, but sometimes a shrill ringing sound comes from the speaker and pressing the buzzer eliminates the problem.
  • In the laundry room downstairs, there is a hand written sign plastered to the window instructing residents not to leave the window unlocked. Apparently, homeless people have crawled in through the open window a few times, or at least enough times to warrant a sign. So that’s the room I wash my clothes in.
  • The rod in my closet is not far enough away from the wall so all of my clothes rest at a slight angle as one end of the hanger juts up against the wall.
  • I see spiders too. Then, I kill them because I remember that I am a big, tough adult.

I’ve been here since February and overall I would say that it’s pretty great. Especially for a person living alone.

The Important Things About Living Alone

Things I have come to terms with:

  • Having the power to keep the space as messy or as clean as you so desire is very telling. If it does get a little too messy, I only have myself to blame in which case I sit myself down and have a serious talk: “Alexis, you are better than this. Get it together.”
  • Decorations? No decorations? Layer the walls with leftover newspaper to work on my eulogy, ponder deep thoughts and jot down story ideas? Bingo. I’ve never been talented at interior design anyway even though I try really hard sometimes.
  • I didn’t have internet for the first three months which encouraged me to go out, explore coffee shops and meet new people. I also read a lot of books, but mostly I rearranged the three pieces of furniture I have in effort to create a more aesthetically pleasing place of residence.
  • Having a dance party by yourself just isn’t quite the same. At the same time, I am utterly free to have a raging solo dance party anytime I wish which allows me to comfortably and sans judgement practice that one move I saw on a commercial last Tuesday night.
  • I sometimes miss things and I need to really think about what I am actually missing. Is it a specific person? Is it a feeling that I get when I’m near people? Or, am I really just hungry?

The Important Things About Life (As Related To Living Alone)

Overall, I would say that living alone is empowering. Like, if I eat an entire row of the knock off brand of Oreos right now no one will ever know. To eat or not to eat. I feel proud when I say no to those urges. I can literally do whatever I want. Basically. I just need to deal with the consequences. An entire row of the knock off brand of Oreos = sugar headache and guilt. Is it worth it?

In my highly affordable little efficiency apartment, I am by myself a lot. I think to be alone a lot you have to actually like yourself. Because at some point, you just can’t hide from yourself any longer. It is a little frightening; if you’re really being honest with yourself, you start to see the unpolished parts of yourself.

How do you respond to those parts of yourself? I don’t know, ha! Bet you thought I was going to give you some of the answers to life right there. Well, I don’t know the answers to life. I keep asking people, but everyone I ask is just as clueless as me. What is up with that? Instead, I’ll just try to make you laugh two more times today.

Here’s how I respond:

  1. Instantly run. Avoid the issue at hand for a few minutes, hours, days – however long I can make it.
  2. The problem didn’t go away even though I did, therefore I return and acknowledge the less than shimmering problem. Breathe it all in. Cry. Am angry.
  3. Pray for help.
  4. Exercise. Literally and figuratively. Specifically, I focus on figuratively strengthening my neck muscles so that I can have a steady and capable neck in order to keep my head up. Then, I can continue to use the hashtag #keepyourheadup which is a hashtag and motivational saying that I delight in using.

A final two words on living alone:

Pants? What?

Okay, did you laugh twice more? Please yes. That’s funny. Like, the real, relatable and relevant kind of funny. Good. I knew it. I knew you laughed. I laughed even. Ha. There I go, laughing again.

As related to aloneness, take a look at traveling alone from a blog I adore: Cup Of Jo. This woman is brave, huh?

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