I’ve lived alone for almost a year now, unless you count the fluffy monsters that are my two house rabbits, and saying it was an adjustment is an understatement. Bloody difficult is more appropriate. But for most young people, living alone just isn’t something we come across anymore.
At university we’re thrown together with a mishmash of lovable people from all walks of life and expected to survive in grim student halls, only to move out of said halls into worse digs with a landlord from hell often with the same group of people. Once you’re done it’s either back to the home town to crash with the parentals while you scrape together enough cash to survive, or hot foot it to the big city of your choosing to bunk with strangers.
Luckily for me, I hate city centres. Don’t get me wrong, I love popping into Manchester for the day but I certainly couldn’t live there and deal with the commute. So I live in a little town called Bolton, and I live there alone. And it’s lovely, it was a big change, but it’s lovely. Let me tell you all about it, and why it’s the bloody best…
- You can live in the dinkiest flat possible, but take a look around you. All that space is yours. Yes, yours! To do with as you damn well please.
- For those who suffer from the occasional (or not so occasional) dark day, you can get in and lock the door at the end of a long hard day and know that those four walls are YOURS and will keep you safe. Identify? You’re all freakin’ warriors.
- There’s no one around to nag you to pick up your clothes, make your bed, wash the dishes or do anything you don’t want to do.
- Seriously, you can do whatever you want, whenever you want.
- Don’t want to leave the house today? Fine. Want to stay out all day? That’s good too.
- Starfishing. If you don’t know what this is, it’s the beauty of having a double bed all to yourself and being led down splayed out like a starfish instead of sticking to your side and fighting over covers all night. If you love sleep, this is your heaven.
- Your own music choices and own film/TV choices. Every house knows the agony of compromise. None of that here – that remote is yours, baby!
- You can sing in the shower and no one’s around to give a crap. Yes, you do sound like Adele in here.
- Same goes for dancing. Rock your best Beyoncé. Or, if you’ve got zero co-ordination like me, just let it go à la Tom Cruise in Risky Business.
- It’s peaceful, gloriously so. Yes, there’s a certain adjustment to being on your own for the majority of the day, but you soon learn that it’s the best.
- I’m not going to lie to you. Often it’s a ballache having to clean up your own mess – which you do have to do eventually. But it’s YOUR mess and you can stay on top of it or leave it for as long as you want. Just don’t have the Health Department round.
- I swear 90% of my time is spent cleaning. But nothing’s better than finally collapsing on the couch in a clean flat. Tidy home, tidy mind, and all that.
- You know when I said you can do whatever you want? Yeah, and you don’t have to be quiet about it either, if you know what I mean…
- You quickly learn to absorb any shame or guilt associated with ordering a regular takeout for one. Especially when you get the same driver week in week out. There’s a reason Dominos do a meal deal for one!
- Want to crank the heating up full blast in winter? Throw open every single window in summer? Go for it! No compromises here.
- Decorating how you want. Add a bright yellow cushion, fill your house to the brim with plants and candles – do whatever you want with your decor because there’s no one to say they don’t like it. Aah freedom.
- Being yourself. Let’s face it; we’re all complete weirdos on some level. We’re all got our quirks, and living alone means you don’t have to hide them. Let your inner creep run wild.
- Talking to yourself. If you say you don’t do it, you’re lying. Apparently it’s the first sign of madness, but if that’s true I’m in trouble.
- You learn to look after yourself. Let’s get serious for a second. There’s no one to rely on when you live alone. No friends, no partner, no mum or dad. It’s all on you. Dying from a combination of the common cold and bubonic plague? You gotta get your own honey and lemon. Got a £200 water bill through? You’ve got to get on the phone and do some yelling. It’s tough, but it’ll make you a survivor.
- There’s no judgement for eating that entire tub of Ben & Jerry’s, or not changing out of your PJs till 1pm. Live your best life.
- Unlimited privacy. That means no pants, all the damn time.