Tips For Living Alone
Seven months ago, I moved into an apartment by myself. It’s my first time living 100% without any other human beings. While it was difficult at first, I enjoy living alone more and more every day. I miss having roommates around every once in a while, but I’ve gained some other great things in return. Here are a few tips for making the most of your time alone while staying as sane as possible.
–Find hobbies you can do alone
If you don’t already, start enjoying an activity you really need to be alone for. This way, you’ll be distracted for long stretches of time from your crushing loneliness. Don’t worry; it’ll take time to settle into a life of solitude. Personally, I paint, read, and watch countless hours of The Twilight Zone. Make your time real “Me Time.” Go ahead and spend half an hour scrubbing dead skin off your feet, it’s not like anyone else is going to need the bathroom. Obsessively paint your nails. Redecorate until your space is a comforting and “you” as possible. Remember, you are the only person inhabiting the space, so you get to call all the shots. Get those neon orange curtains you’ve always wanted, you deserve it.
–Find something, anything, to talk to
It’s important to exercise your vocal chords. Otherwise, you’ll inadvertently make croaking sounds at the Subway sandwich maker when you descend from your lair for lunch. What it is you decide to talk to doesn’t really matter. It could be a cat, a fish, a gecko, or even a potted plant. The important this is that it has a name. But as long as you are addressing something by name, you are technically not talking to yourself, which is very important. This way, if your neighbors check on you after you start screaming, you’ll be able to say, “Why no, I wasn’t yelling at my pasta. I was yelling at Terrence, my goldfish; it’s his fault the pasta isn’t cooked enough.”
Speaking of neighbors…
–Become overly invested in the goings-ons of your neighbors
Not only will this give you something to do, but it’ll almost be like having roommates. Super mysterious roommates. You will get annoyed with them, feel bad for them, and get way too invested in their lives, all like real roommates. Why is Neighbor #1 getting visits from strangers at 1 a.m.? Why does Neighbor #2 have to play “Purple Rain” on his electric guitar every day? You may never have the answers, but enjoy the mysteries all the same. Or you can leave them notes (such as, “I hope the drug-dealing is going well!” or “Your rendition of “Purple Rain” makes doves cry”). But unless you plan on writing a twee autobiography at some point where you chronicle all the interesting people you’ve met, I suggest you just enjoy the mysteries for what they are.
–Stay on top of current trends
This is essential if you plan on speaking to real people (not plants) eventually. It’s easy to lose track of what’s going on in the world when you only leave your apartment for food. Then you’ll be stuck in the awkward position of praising the Kony 2012 video when everyone has already moved on hating on Invisible Children. My suggestions: read all of the Game of Thrones books; you’ll be prepared to talk to your coworkers for years to come as they wait for the HBO show. Watch Canada’s or Australia’s Next Top Model on Youtube; not only is it easy to breeze through an entire season while folding socks, you’ll also have some original insights to share around the water cooler. Watch as many movie trailers as possible; everyone loves movies, so when someone starts gushing about how good The Lorax/Silent House/The Grey/The Hunger Games was, you’ll know what they’re talking about.
–Enjoy being alone
Letting yourself just do what you want to do is a great way of figuring out exactly what kind of person you are. How long will you go without doing your chores? How often will you cook just for yourself? How healthy are you? Are you a night owl? While you may develop a few strange habits, you will also have a much stronger sense of self when (if) the time comes to once again live with another human being. Indulge in things you couldn’t do if there were other people around to judge you. Don’t want to put on pants to feed the cat? You don’t have to! Want ice cream for dinner? Go for it! Feel like sleeping in a nest made from your dirty laundry? Who’s going to stop you, your roommates? Oh wait, you don’t have any! Just enjoy being able to do whatever you feel like doing. While other people are nice to have around, you may never again experience having a beautiful cocoon of solitude. Embrace it.