I want to start this off with a small disclaimer: I 100% understand that there are a lot of people who come from abusive, toxic, and/or unhealthy homes who will not agree with this post. I am in no way undermining their experiences, I am just sharing my personal experience and thoughts, and I am in no way trying to offend anyone. With that said, it’s story time!
While I was in high school, I couldn’t wait to leave home. While my life wasn’t awful, I did live in a household that tended to be quite hostel more often than not. Many times, it felt like you could cut the tension with a knife. I was pumped when the time came for me to leave home. After that came years of living in a dorm and apartments with a variety of roommates, which was sometimes extremely stressful and made me feel miserable, so you can imagine how excited I was to start living alone.
Don’t get me wrong, majority of the time I do genuinely like living alone. I like having an entire apartment to myself, being able to do what I want when I want, and being able to leave things where it’s convenient for me. At this point, I’m not sure if I could ever go back to living with someone; it would have to be someone I really like. With that said, as there is with all things, there are downsides to living alone.
You have to do ALL the chores
If you’re like me and grew up in a home where you had designated chores to do, you probably thought they were the worst thing ever. My daily chores consisted of setting, clearing, and wiping off the kitchen table at supper time and vacuuming the kitchen after dinner (yes, my kitchen/dining room had carpet- can you say 1970’s!?) and I HATED it. Now, however, I would love nothing more than to have that be my only chore to do. Living alone means doing EVERYTHING on your own. I do the dishes, the vacuuming, the laundry, all of it! I have to do all the cleaning because there is no one else to do it! I don’t know if I ever thanked my mom for doing all the housework stuff she did, but I am now.
There’s no one to grab things for you
Growing up, I had a little brother I could make get things for me, so that I didn’t have to get up. I could yell for my mom to bring me something until she got so annoyed, she’d do it just to shut me up. I lived with one of my roommates for three years, and I would literally wait for her to get up so I could ask her to grab me something (to be fair, she did the same to me- it usually depended on who got up first). Now that I live alone, if I want something, I have to get up and get it because there’s no one else to get it for me. I have not yet trained my dog to grab my phone charger, so that means I have to go upstairs to grab it myself. It’s a minor inconvenience, but definitely something I miss at times.
You have to pay for everything
I don’t know if you all know this, but things are EXPENSIVE! I cannot believe I EVER had the nerve to say, “It’s only $20.” Nowadays, it’s more like, “I cannot believe that is 5 whole dollars!” Anything I want for myself, for my apartment, for work, or for anything else, I have to buy myself. If I can’t afford it, I don’t get it. I either save money for it or live without it. And that doesn’t even include all the bills! Rent, car payments, insurance, internet, student loans, the list just never ends. I get paid, and I feel rich for about five seconds, then I pay bills and buy groceries and I’m back to being broke. Being an adult comes with a lot of expenses I didn’t agree to. I miss when $20 made me feel like I had so much money, AND I could spend all of it on whatever I wanted. Now, I have to think economically and make fiscally responsible decisions. This is especially hard when I have fine wine tastes but have the budget for cheap beer. This is not fun for me, and having to pay for everything is really interfering with me living my best life.
You have to schedule all of your own appointments
This is probably the biggest shock of adulthood. Scheduling appointments should not be that hard, but for some reason it is. The hardest part is remembering to do the scheduling; I usually remember at night when everything is closed. When I actually do remember, it’s so difficult to find a day and time that they have available that actually works with my schedule. Then to top it off, I have to remember when I scheduled it for- I almost missed an appointment a few days ago because I completely forgot about it. Luckily, I remembered last minute and made it just in time. I miss when my mom just scheduled them, told me when they were, and then usually drove me to them. Or even in college when I could make my roommate do it for me. Scheduling your own appointments is honestly the worst.
You have to do all the grocery shopping
I HATE grocery shopping so much!!! I miss the days when I could open the fridge and it would magically be filled with food. Now, if I want something, I have to go out and buy it. Never mind the fact that I usually forget a vital ingredient or something I desperately need (like the deodorant I forgot to buy and am now out of). There’s also those times when I look at something like milk, and I’m like, “No, I don’t need that. I have plenty.” Then upon going home and opening the fridge, I realize, “Yes, I did in fact need milk”. Plus, groceries are SO expensive, and it seems like produce expires a lot faster when you’re the one paying for it. Suddenly, all of my mom’s couponing and buying generic brands of everything make so much more sense. At this point, I feel like this post should just be called #ThanksMom.
You can’t blame anyone else for your messes
I don’t think I ever realized how often I could tell myself the mess in the living room wasn’t because of me. We all like to think we are neat and tidy, and some of us are more than others, but when you live alone you can no longer deny you’re less than clean habits. I am, for the most part, pretty tidy, but I have a bad habit of leaving things I’m working on scattered throughout my apartment. This habit is even worse now that I’m not sharing these spaces with anyone. I can’t even pretend that I wasn’t the one who left the couch pillows all over the living room anymore because there is no one else who possibly could have done it! This is one of those things you don’t even realize you did until you can’t anymore.
You have to cook all your own meals
I love to cook, but there are many nights when I want a home-cooked meal that I don’t have to make. I miss being able to lay in my room reading or sit on the couch watching T.V. until supper was ready. I took an unbelievably amount of home cooked meals for granted, and I cannot believe I ever had the audacity to complain about what was made. Plus, there’s just something about mom making your food that makes it taste so much better. The worst part of it all is that I have to do ALL the cleanup when I make a meal, which everyone knows is the WORST part of cooking. Once again, thank you mom.
Always having someone around
Like I said before, I do enjoy living alone for the most part, but the hardest part for me has been how incredibly lonely I can be at times. My social life is pretty close to non-existent, so I spend a lot of my time home alone. There a lot of times I miss having someone waiting for me at home. I love to cook, but cooking awesome meals for one isn’t as fun as sharing it with someone. I miss having someone to watch T.V. with so we could discuss the show and bounce ideas around while we watched. It’s even as simple as missing someone to talk to about my day. Even though it could drive me nuts at times, I do miss always having someone around to talk to and spend time with. As much as I love living alone, I don’t so much love being lonely.
If you are living at home or even with a roommate or two, take some time to appreciate these things, because you will miss them when they are gone. If you have never lived alone, I do recommend it, because you do discover a lot about yourself and your capabilities. It’s an experience I’m glad to be having right now, despite the downsides. However, I do have a deep appreciation for all the things I took for granted when I was living at home, and I know that is something I will never get back. There’s no way my mom would ever let me move back home! I love having my own place and the sense of independence that comes with, but that doesn’t mean I can’t also appreciate the past.