Living alone was a dream ever since I was a child; the independence that came with doing whatever I pleased was something that I always wanted. I grew up in a home with 5 other siblings in a 2-bedroom, 1-bath house; privacy was something none of us had. The only time it was quiet was when my brothers and sisters were in school besides that peace and quiet was something rare in our home. Being the older brother my sibling always followed me around; they “always” wanted what I had like my Super Nintendo, movies, CD’s, clothes, shoes etc. Living alone was something that I always praised like a rare gem that I couldn’t wait to get.
By the time I was in my late teens, early 20’s most of my friends left for college and others moved in with their girlfriends or boyfriends, but me in the other hand was left behind since I didn’t stay in a dorm room on campus I still lived with my parents and yes with my 5 siblings. The urge to get my own place was killing me, I needed my own space and I needed it as soon as possible but being a broke college student who only worked 10-15 hours for $7.25 an hour ever 2-weeks wasn’t going to get me far and the rising cost of living in Los Angeles County wasn’t helping either.
By my mid 20’s I finally saved enough money for a security deposit and moved into my first apartment. The first few days of living alone were a bit different than I expected. My apartment looked empty and lonely since I didn’t have any furniture.
First few months of this “living alone experiment” was so different for me.
I say experiment because I don’t intend in living alone my entire life, I plan on getting married one day and moving in with someone.
After living alone for 5 years and realizing that “living alone” wasn’t I expected it to be when I was just a kid. Here is a list of things that I experience over the past 5-years; some things on this list are good other things aren’t so great, but what ever they might be this list might help you with your future plans on living alone, whether you’re young or old the experiences I went through aren’t exaggerated or made-up for this article they are 100% accurate.
#1. Good – Being able to watch what ever you want on TV without being told to switch the channel or turn it off. Watching TV how I relax after working the entire day the last thing I want to do is to be told to turn it off.
#2. Bad – Even though you might like having your own space and living alone there will be times when “living alone” will eventually get lonely but in the bright side it’s nowhere near living in the wilderness.
#3. Good – Going to bed at what ever time you please. If you want to stay up until midnight, that’s totally fine, if you want to wake up at the crack of dawn that’s fine too.
#4. Bad – Bills! Bills pile up pretty quick and sometimes it will seem like it was just yesterday that you just paid your monthly electricity bill.
#5. Good – Your weekend plans consist of watching re-runs of The Walking Dead with a big cup of ice cream while you wear nothing but your favorite underwear and t-shirt and there isn’t a care in the world.
#6. Bad – Grocery shopping will turn into a challenge. Sometimes you don’t buy enough and other times you will buy too much.
#7. Good – No one eats your food. When I lived with my parents, my sibling will devour my food I would have to find creative ways to hide it in the refrigerator.
#8. Bad – Your food will go to waste. I will buy food and 2 to 3 days later it goes to waste. Fruits and vegetables expire so fast that it will have you in the grocery store more often than you may think.
#9. Good – Having whatever company you want, whenever you want. Company had to be out by 9pm at my mom’s house but now that I’m living alone my company may stay all night if they please.
#10. Bad – Your dirty dishes will pile up so quick that it will make your head spin. One of the things I personally find irritating is when I finish washing dishes and I find more scattered across my apartment. Dirty dishes and pans are never ending thing.
#11. Good – I never thought that having leftovers would make me so happy, having leftovers means not cooking and a day without cooking is a good day.
#12. Bad – Being limited to what you’re able to cook. The first year was so difficult for me because I was limited to what I was consuming, even though I knew how to cook a few different dishes you will eventually get tired of them.
#13. Good – You could walk around half naked all you want (as long as you close your blinds that is)
#14. Bad – The cleaning that’s involved in cleaning an apartment is unbelievable. It’s never ending, and since you’re living alone it never goes away, it’s always there.
#15. Good and Bad – Never in my wildest dreams would I’ve thought that I would talk to myself so damn much, I have actual conversation and arguments with myself. Weird, I know. If you think it wont happen to you, you are wrong.
#16. Bad – One word, Mice. When you’re living alone you will notice that your money doesn’t last as long as it did when you lived with your parents so you’ll find yourself looking for deals at your local thrift store, craigslist or asking friends if they have furniture for sale. Long story short I bought a couch from a friend. The couch had been sitting outside for a month before I picked it up and a few mice found a comfy home inside the couch and me without knowing brought it home and I ended up bringing the mice with it.
#17. Good – No one eats your leftovers.
#18. Bad – I find myself double and triple checking if I left the iron plugged in, checking if I turned off the stove before I leave home. Other times I’m half way to my destination and I start thinking about if turned off the stove and I panic so much that I turn around and go home to check. Not a good felling.
#19. Good – Your belongings and money doesn’t magically disappear like it does when you live with other people. When I lived with my family it wasn’t unusual for my things to be in different places or gone to never be seen again.
#20. Bad – You can never watch scary movies because every little sound would have you thinking the killer is inside your apartment., and if you accidentally watch a movie that didn’t say it was scary but ended up being terrifying well there goes your good night sleep.
#21. Good – Your girlfriend or boyfriend could come over in the middle of the night or whenever they please. A big pro when it comes to renting an apartment
#22. Bad – You’re high alerted by any sound you hear especially in the middle of the night.
#23. Good – The silence. The silence is one of the best parts of living alone. I love coming home from work and sit on my sofa in complete silence. This is one of the reasons why living alone is so amazing. The silence.
While we all have different reasons why we love living alone mine are the things I have experience for the past 5 years. Living alone isn’t for everyone some like the silence, while others prefer companionship. I do have to admit that the first leap is the hardest, it’s like booking your flight for your first big adventure but after that it’s smooth sailing.
I don’t claim to have the answers or give the best advice but if I may offer any advice it will be take your time on finding the right apartment or house that works with you. I’ve seen so many people sign a 1 or 2-year lease and shortly after regret it because the parking situation is awful or the neighbor with the 5 small kids that just happen to live on top of you has kids who don’t stop running and jumping.