Matthew Gates 3m 725 #livingalone
The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
There are many people who know the joys of living on their own, the experience of doing things all by yourself – from putting up a shower curtain, to changing the locks, to mopping a dirty floor, and making decisions all by yourself on where the furniture that you purchased should go. There are also many other people who will never know such an experience, because they either live with someone, met someone and moved in with them, married before ever getting a chance to live alone, have room mates, or simply never wanted to live alone. For those who have lived alone, I ask that you recall your experiences.
Coming home to an empty apartment or a house might be scary or lonely to some, but to me, it has so far been a great experience. I have always lived with room mates, a girlfriend, or family, and this is the first time I am living in a studio apartment, all by myself, all alone, with no one to leave dishes in the sink, no one to make a mess, and no one to even keep the warm feeling a house or apartment has when people are in it. I walk into a cold, dark, empty room, and I love it.
I walk on a clean floor that I had to mop twice with bleach because no one bothered to clean the floor before renting me an apartment. I didn’t mind though, because the fact that I cleaned it made it my floor that I cleaned. I had walked on it several times barefoot, only to realize I was getting black feet, and the floor felt dirty. My apartment had a metallic smell to it, like metal rods or it had been empty for quite some time. Now though, aside from the smell of bleach, I light a few Vanilla Bean scented candles and let them run for a few hours. I leave the toilet seat up and no one complains. I dry the sink because I used it and I want it dry. My fridge only has a few water bottles in it, some wine, a case of beer, and some coconut water.
My cabinets — only a few jars of peanut butter for food, some nice dishes, while a batch of bananas sits on the stove. There is not much food in the house and I have no desire to run out and get any food any time soon. I wonder what someone would think if they walked into this apartment, seeing it almost clean, and empty, as if someone lives here, but only part-time. Less than part-time, if you consider that most of the time this apartment is used for sleeping, pooping, and bathing. I do not eat out at restaurants often, but the majority of the time, I am usually at work.
The bathroom too, is completely clean, a dry tub, with nothing but my own belongings on the sink, in the cabinets, and just a roll or two of toilet paper since it is only me. Whether I decide to make the futon bed that is half a couch and half a bed is completely up to me. If I decide to sleep in until noon, there is no one to bother me, envy me, or be jealous of the fact that I did nothing all day. If I am hungry, I will eat what I want, and not worry about having to feed anyone else but myself. If I do not feel like feeding myself, than that is okay too.
There is certainly a comfortable feeling in knowing that I am here now, sitting, looking around my apartment – knowing this is mine, being able to afford it, having everything in the place that I chose it to be in, and having no one tell me otherwise. There is comfort in knowing that although this moment will not last forever, as I may find someone, marry them, and live with them, there is the comfort in knowing that at least once in my life — I am experiencing the joys of living completely on my own. There are stories of people who have or are currently living out of their cars and if the social norms did not look down upon it, it was certainly a consideration.