What I've Learned From Living Alone For The First Time

April 12, 2019

When you are a kid, all you want is to grow up. You cannot really comprehend what this means but you know you want to be like your parents or any of the grownups who influence your life. It is because growing up has an attraction that makes us believe everything will be okay. But then you actually grow up and realize it was never that easy. In my humble opinion, you become a real adult the day you move out of your parents’ place and start paying your own bills. What does this mean though? What is the reality of living on your own? These are a few of the things you can expect to experience when moving out that do not include paying bills or rent – those are the obvious ones.

 

Photo: Anthony Tran on Unsplash  

 

Feeling afraid

 

“Am I doing the right thing? Am I ready for this? Will I fail? Who will cook for me?” These questions and so many others will cross your mind the night before your big move. Do not worry; this is completely normal! Being afraid of what is coming is something we all go through. Change scares us but it should not stop us from going after what we want. If you made the choice to move out, you are ready. If you fail, you will get back up. And there are plenty of pre-made meals at the supermarket.

 

Missing…

 

Yes, you will miss the people – any relatives or friends – you used to live with but you will miss other things too. The moment you walked into your house after being away for a while and you smell that homey scent everybody talks about. The way the water would come out in the shower hitting your back in the right place. The one spot on the wall that was perfect for your books. The sound the stairs made when you stepped on them. But your new place will have the homey sent, the shower will be warmer, your books will find their place, and the stairs will creak just as much.

 

The grocery list

 

Your favorite cookies are the most expensive. There are too many brands of laundry detergent. Food runs out too fast. Most of your paycheck will be spent on a grocery store visit. Maybe that is just my experience? It seems like when we are kids we do not realize the extent of grocery shopping. I knew it was not cheap but it seems even more expensive now that I pay for it. However, in our time and age there are things ,(and apps )to make it easier and cheaper. Pro-tip: download every app that will give you cash back if you upload a photo of your receipt.

 

Freedom

 

You will stay up late watching that show or reading that book. Buy that piece of furniture that looks so good in your living room. Get that expensive pair of pants you saw at the mall. Walk in and out of your place at any time without asking for permission. It is your time to do what you want because you only have yourself to answer to/for. Use that freedom wisely and, whatever you do, please always let someone know where you are going – your safety still matters.

 

The truth is that moving out is a big step into adulthood and we are all experimenting. We get scared, we miss what we are used to, we want the expensive cookies, and we stay up way past our bedtime even though we have to be up at six in the morning to go to work. Use this moment to experiment and find yourself. Walk around your apartment naked. Sit on the kitchen floor eating ice cream at 3 am. Cry in the shower. Call your mom if you do not know how to use the washing machine. And if you feel like moving back in, remember being on your own is never easy but you have made it this far.

 

Lara was born in Argentina on Christmas; raised there and in Mexico. She graduated university with a BA in Latin American Literature and then moved to America where she currently lives with her girlfriend and cat. She works at a daycare as an Infant Teacher and during her free time you’ll find her reading or watching several TV shows while drinking diet coke.

 

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