As most of you know I moved out completely on my own this year. Prior to this I had either always lived with a roommate, a boyfriend, or my gram.
At first I was crazy apprehensive. I mean, let’s be real here, I’m afraid of literally everything. So, living alone was a little daunting.
Thankfully I was moving into an apartment complex that a couple members of my family are only a few doors down and my gram is just right up the road, so that helped a lot. However, it didn’t fully solve all of my issues.
I mean, for the first time EVER I had to be entirely self sustaining. And let me tell ya….
I love it.
Seriously, I never thought I would love living entirely by myself so much. There’s something so stellar and just… liberating about the entire thing. Knowing that I am completely responsible for everything that I have; that no one can look at me and say “if it wasn’t for me you wouldn’t have this” is completely amazing.
And, I was listening to a podcast the other day and they were talking about moving in with a significant other.
It’s a relatively popular podcast and someone had submitted a question for them to answer. This person had never lived on their own before, they still lived at home, and their significant other wanted to get a place together; they wanted to know how early was too early.
I wish that I could have just hopped into that podcast and answered for them.
Now, while there isn’t anything wrong with the answers they gave (you know, the stereotypical “if you think it’s right and feel like it’s time go for it” bullshit) there was something HUGE that was missing from the conversation.
Before I go any deeper into this let me say that I 100% was that girl. I had not lived on my own yet when I first decided to move in with a significant other and let me be the first to say – it was a fucking disaster.
I didn’t know this at the time but when you live alone you get to know yourself in ways that you don’t anticipate. When it’s 3 am and you’re wide awake and just want comfort you can’t just go to your parents/sibling/roommate/significant other to help solve the issue. You have to figure it out entirely yourself.
You have to figure out the things that help you sleep or bring you comfort during a thunderstorm. When the power goes out and you have nothing to do you have to find ways to entertain yourself. When you’re hungry you have to cook for yourself. When you just want to drink your fucking face off because of whatever bullshit heartbreak you’re facing at the time.. you have to do it by yourself.
And that creates a sense of self awareness that you can’t really get in a lot of other places.
The truth is that you can’t really know yourself until you’ve had to depend on you and only you to get what you want. When you learn to be your own confidante, your own support system, and your own best friend, that’s what helps you become a full and functioning human.
That isn’t to say that I don’t think people who live with significant others can find themselves. I think it’s possible. But, the self discovery will be skewed. You’ll always have to factor in that other person while you’re trying to still figure out who you are.
I am a big proponent that everyone should live entirely by themselves at least once before they move in with a significant other. Even if it’s only for a few months. You will learn so much about yourself, it’s unreal.
If I would have known how much knowledge and life experience I would gain by just moving out on my own and being self sustaining, I never would have moved in with roommates or any one else for that matter.
I will say that I’m lucky in the fact that I do have the means to do so. I have a decent apartment and am able to keep up with all of my utilities and whatnot and maintain a relatively comfortable lifestyle.
Nothing that I have is extravagant, and I do struggle from time to time (the holidays proved to be a little more difficult than I had anticipated). But, for the most part I can get by. And I understand that some people don’t have the capability to move out on their own.
However, I also know plenty of people that are more than capable and choose to still live at home anyway. Or with friends. Or, whatever. And I really feel like they’re cheating themselves out of the experience of true self awareness.
Honestly, if I had lived on my own before moving in with a previous boyfriend I really think things would have turned out a lot better. Do I think it would have saved the relationship? Absolutely not. We were two people who just didn’t need to be together. But, I do think the experience of living with each other would not have been as, for lack of a better term, traumatic as it was if I would have had some of the self awareness and confidence that living alone has given me.
So, long story short… living alone is great. I highly recommend it. If you can do it, you should because it’ll take you down a pretty stellar path to self discovery.
Until next time,