I’m pretty sure I stole the title to this blog post from some hip hop song but it is perfect because it is how I have been living this year. For the first time in my life I am living alone, well if you count my furry haired companion, Lulu, then not so much, but I am the lone human in my household. And household being studio apartment where I eat, sleep and chill out in the same room. No television, no kitchen table, and my dog jumping up on my bed in the middle of the night because my room is her room too. My previous roommates, besides my 18 years of living with my family, range from my best girlfriends from college, to ex-teammates and an ex-husband. I always had my space and freedom but I never had the full solitude, the full responsibility or full independence of what it is like to truly live on your m own. I found my way back to the most darling, quaint and beautiful neighborhood I always loved.
When searching for places I knew location was my number one priority, even if it meant that I gave up the extra space. In college my volleyball team use to drive through this neighborhood to get to our matches and I remember gazing out at the tree lined streets, historical houses and walking distance to shops and restaurants thinking, if only I could leave here some day. What do you know? Here I am living in this neighborhood, not the way I imagined it but life has a funny way of working out sometimes.
People ask if I am lonely or if it is weird to live in a studio with so little space and I find it quite the opposite, it has been quite refreshing. I have gained so much independence and strength by facing fear head on and have been able to to look back on the year as a year of growth, reflection and new experiences. Has this year been without struggle, tears or pain? Absolutely not, but I feel I am able to look back on this year quite content in my space and in my mind.
You realize a lot about what you really need in life. A large house is just a big structure with a roof and lots of furniture and decorations when filled with loneliness and distance. A home is where you feel safe, secure and free to be who you are and who you need to be when the outside world is storming or even when you have your own storm going on in your head. I have been able to de-clutter quite a bit, not only my belongings but my emotional clutter as well. I have enjoyed living by myself, spending my at home time doing whatever I want to do. It has been a wonderful opportunity to be selfish (because that is ok), reflective and peaceful with my time.
Ultimately my ideal home is a home in which I have someone to share it with but I feel so grateful to have had this time and space to myself because it has given me an actual experience in life that shows that when all else fails I have myself to rely on.