So, because my life can only be in a state of constant flux, 2014 has proven to be a pretty major year already.
Initially I thought that everything was going to be great. I got a second job as a independent contractor for an SEO company as a writer almost immediately at the beginning of the year. And therefore, assumed this was going to be my year.
In February my boyfriend of 6 years left me. He decided that he no longer loved me and hadn’t been happy for a long time. There was a lot of villianization of me on his part.
I suppose things had not been all the could have been for awhile. 2013 was a pretty rough year for us and I found myself trusting him less and less as time went on. And found myself less and less happy as time went on. But, I kept putting it off as a general displeasure with my job, lack of money, lack of friends, lack of confidence, lack of anything remotely resembling my former self. It occurred to me once or twice that he might be the issue. And I don’t mean that he is a bad person exactly. Just not right for me and the direction my life needs to be moving in.
In any case, the break up came as a bit of a shock to me. I was supremely distraught over the whole thing.
For about 3 days.
I was somewhat distraught for a following 11 days.
Then I was over it. I was still angry. I am still kind of angry. At myself, at him, at anything.
That will pass in time as well.
I’ve been living in my new place, alone, for a little over two weeks now. Granted I was living alone at my last place, but I had shared that with him for 3 years. There were still so many things around that had accumulated during the relationship and still so many associations with him in that apartment. In a way it felt like he was still present. It really didn’t help that he was still paying rent there and I could assume that he would show up at any given moment. Which, he did. To get his stuff or to take stuff that wasn’t really his to take or to argue with me about rent. So that was pretty distracting.
But now I have this beautiful apartment in a house that was built in the 20’s. It has real oak floors and tons of windows and light. There are old-fashioned qualities that took a moment to get used to, but each two-pronged electrical socket, each scratch on the floor, and each pull string light adds a delightful piece of character.
The porch is huge and the paint is peeling and the boards are bowing. The mailboxes are tiny and have metal hanging doors decorated with engravings.
It’s just this beautiful old place with cool neighbors, a huge antique store down the street, and a large cat named Fabio who roams the yard and surrounding neighborhood.
Even Holden seems to like this place more. Or maybe he just likes the fact that I let him roam freely more than I used to since the place is small enough that I can’t really lose him. Either way he runs around here like crazy. I don’t have air conditioning, so I bought him a fan. He lounges in front of it pretty much constantly and seems pleased with it.
I’ve also received a promotion at the grocery store, after transferring to the new store in order to have a shorter commute. And I’m now the floral specialist! Not exactly a career, but I really enjoy making the arrangements and gift baskets and getting to have some kind of creativity throughout the day.
In any case, things appear to be looking up. It occurred to me today that I have definitely realized things about myself while living on my own. And I have to say that I seriously suggest that everyone do it. Being comfortable alone is one of the biggest assets you could hope to have. Anyways, here are some things that I have concluded about myself in the last few months (and especially the last 2 weeks).
- I really can do things alone. For the longest time I have had this anxiety about doing anything alone. That ranges from sleeping to shopping to even driving. I felt so self-conscious and uncomfortable. It was so much more validating, for whatever reason, to have other people constantly with me. But now I know that I really can just do things by myself. And actually enjoy it. In fact, I am about to start planning a week long vacation to take by myself.
- I enjoy cleaning. And keeping a clean living space. It is so much easier to clean when you live alone. You’re the only one moving things around or leaving things out. So it becomes so much easier to . My apartment is much smaller now, making it a whole lot easier to keep up with.
- I eat more healthfully. Now that I don’t have to worry about someone else’s (let’s admit, somewhat childish) taste preferences, I can make whatever I want, buy whatever I want, and eat as much as I want. All the time! Thus making it a lot easier to eat better foods.
- I have more friends than I thought I did. Without having to account for another person’s schedule or needs or quality time, I can leave whenever or have people over at any time. I can suddenly decide to go to the farmer’s market and drink mimosas with people one Sunday. Or spend Thursday tanning and gardening alone. It’s very refreshing.
- I get so much more done. I am writing more, reading more, sleeping more, thinking more, walking more, and having more fun than ever before. Again, that other person (whether it’s a partner or a roommate) isn’t around to partially dictate chunks of your time. It’s easier to focus and easier to get things done.
- I’m ready to move. In a year, anyways. Asheville has been a delightful city and a huge part of my formative years. Now it’s time to go.
And it goes on, maybe I’ll continue another time. But, the point is, I feel like this whole, complete, breathing person. I’m 27 years old and I just remembered that I’m actually alive for the first time in years. And it’s beautiful.
That is not to say, of course, that I will want to live alone forever. I’m past the point of ever wanting a roommate again, that’s too much hassle with too little gained. But living with a partner is not written out either. Regardless of the past experience with it.
I think that in a truly good relationship, each party feels comfortable being exactly who they are and with exactly who the other person is. Everyone respects everyone else’s alone time or personal friendships. No one feels suffocated or ignored. Intelligence and wit are well-matched and complementary. Each person still has their autonomy and they have it with each other. There isn’t this weird thing that happens where the couple gloms on to each other and morphs into one rather obnoxious entity. I’m pretty sure it exists somewhere.