Living on my own for the last few months has been what I can only describe as a self-growth experience; one that began with, admittedly, some shaking and crying. Though to be fair, I was left in a condo without any furniture and all I had was a chair, my TV and all my moving boxes so it was a traumatic awakening to say the least.
Now I have adjusted and I do enjoy it.
There’s no one to judge my impromptu dance parties
Sometimes, I will blast Robyn’s Dancing On My Own and pretend I’m on Girls, pulling out the ridiculous dance moves that had anyone seen me doing would probably die of laughter. But who cares? No one can see me! I actually started doing this because my upstairs neighbour is apparently an elephant who does Irish jigs and I’m not sure if they are stomping or just have an incredibly heavy tread, but I discovered that the only way to drown out their sounds is to have dance parties. Their stomping even supersedes the sound coming from the TV.
I recommend you dance like an idiot to your favourite song, even if you do live with people. Dancing should be a judgement free zone anyway.
I’m totally a culinary genius… or so I’d like to think
I never cooked for myself before, really, other than really simple quickie meals. I already had a bunch of cookbooks, a Pinterest board devoted to “foodie inspirations” and a yearning for a KitchenAid mixer but I never really put too much effort or time into preparing the meals and often opting to get take-out instead. Now that my subsistence requires me to feed myself daily and unfortunately my financial situation doesn’t really allot me the funds to eat out every day, I have found domestic pursuits like cooking somewhat more enjoyable. Dare I say, even an interest. I bought a slow cooker, a cast iron grill, a crepe pan and have gotten more adventurous with my meal ideas. It is kind of embarrassing but sometimes I can’t wait to get home to make myself dinner or prepare a big brunch. Then I will try to plate it carefully and take a picture of my masterpiece, before devouring my meal.
Speaking of which, I was not really into “healthy food” (I am a burger, fries, burritos kind of girl) but now, I will put more conscious effort into food considerations on what to buy and cook. I haven’t completely cut out buying unhealthy things like chips or candy but I’ll try to balance that out by throwing in more avocados, baby spinach, asparagus, kale, Greek yogurt, etc.
I’m like Danny Tanner
Anyone who’s seen my place knows that I am a bit messy (still need to buy the organizational storage) but cleanliness is different than messiness. I used to smirk and mock people who’d say that they love cleaning, totally not understanding this foreign concept. However, with a place of my own and the results of cleaning being mainly appreciated by me (I’m pretty sure my guests don’t give two shits either way on how Lysol’d my counter tops are and how mildew free my bathtub is), I get it now. I will sometimes get obsessive compulsive about cleanliness and it’s not unheard of to hear me vacuuming late at night, probably much to the chagrin of my neighbours (hey, I have to deal with Stompy McGhee all the time so trade off!).
It could also be because I moved into a new condo so it’s not like I’m cleaning someone else’s grossness that was left behind.
Wants and needs
Because I now have to pay the bills and mortgage on my own, I’ve now finally comprehended the need to budget. Don’t get me wrong, I was always money-conscious and definitely not “making it rain” and popping bottles of champaign like some lady of leisure, but I just didn’t really pay attention to where my money went. Often, I was a victim to my whims and would be like “I want a frappuccino” and so I go get one. Now I’ll always think before I buy something frivolous, do I really want it? Is it a weekly treat that I can justify?
Another thing is that moving into a small space makes me have to halt my hoarding tendencies and just get what I need. Space is now a finite resource and everything from home decor items to clothes, I only have so much space to put everything. I do have a locker but it’s really creepy to go down there so I will avoid it as much as I can. Not to mention, when I was packing to move to my place, I noticed I had a whole load of clothes I never wore and while I always thought “but maybe I’ll wear it”, maybe need to reign that in.
It’s also strange but my clothes shopping habit has been suppressed and overtaken by a new obsession with home decor. The joy I used to get from browsing through my favourite clothing stores has now been replaced by looking at cool organizational storage solutions or decorative items for the home. I guess that is a good thing too because I don’t think I can afford to keep up both habits.
Ultimately, I feel a greater sense of independence and it feels fantastic. I do really miss my dog though who has major separation anxiety issues when she is here with me (as in, I can’t even go to the bathroom or shower without her having to keep an eye on me and leaving her alone means yelping sounds continuously!) but other than that, it’s been a good adjustment.