The thought of living alone terrified me. It is what kept me in a marriage I wasn’t happy in for almost 20 years. Prior to leaving my (now ex-) husband in April, I’d never lived alone. Ever. I’d never even spent more than a couple of nights alone while on business trips.
My teenage daughter moved out with me, but then decided to go back to the house she was comfortable in with her father while being extremely anger at me for shaking up her security. I was heartbroken.
And all alone.
So very alone.
I sobbed for hours. My friend told me I would survive. I didn’t know how.
My therapist had me make a list of all the benefits of living alone. I just found the list again. Here’s what I came up with…
Why living alone is awesome:
- only worry about myself
- not manage anyone else’s emotions
- not have to defend my choices
- hire repair people if I want
- buy fancy water without judgement
- decide what I want to do
- and then do it whenever I want
- figure out who I am
- try new things
- leave the lights on
- open the blinds
- put the ac where I want
- turn the tv on/off when I want
- watch what I want or don’t watch anything at all
- eat peanut butter in bed
- make coffee without anyone complaining about the smell
- cook kielbasa and sauerkraut
- go to Walmart at midnight
- cook dinner as late as I want
- get a snack whenever I want
- eat whatever I want without hearing “that’s not a breakfast food.”
- no food police
- have friends over
- laugh and talk loudly and freely
- be myself
- be free
- stay out late with friends
- not worry about anyone else’s opinion of how I act with my friends
- go out whenever I want with whoever I want
- figure out who I am
- figure out what I like
- find out what fulfills me
- sleep as late as I want
- stay up as late as I want
- turn on the lights whenever I want
- play whatever music I choose or keep the house silent
- wear whatever I want or don’t get dressed at all
- take a shower in the middle of the night if I want
- buy name brand toilet paper
- live without guilt and resentment eating at me
It’s been seven months since I moved out. I got divorced last month. Living alone is still hard for me, even though my daughter goes back and forth between my place and her dad’s now.
But the things on that list? They’re worth the discomfort and growing pains. I was trapped and not living for myself. Living on my own is allowing me to finally get to know myself. And I’m pretty cool.