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3 Things I learned from living alone

Three things I learned from living alone

It’s no secret that I’m an introvert. At first glance, living alone would seem like a dream to someone like me! But, living alone in a creaky old six-bedroom house?? Not so much. I have quite the active imagination and have seen one too many episodes of Criminal Minds, so it took some getting used to to not picture my death following every squeak. Eventually I settled in and even began to enjoy it. And it taught me a LOT about myself over the 12 week stint.

Lesson 1:

Not all alone time is created equal.

iced soy latte from hopscotch coffee with marble computer cover

I was worried I was going to be lonely since none of my friends were in town the majority of the summer, but the forced alone time really allowed me to crave human interaction in a healthy way. Is this was being an extrovert is like?? All the subtleties of social anxiety seemed to slip away longer I lived alone.

It might be incredibly obvious from the outside looking in, but spending so much time by myself gave me the energy to really thrive when I was around people. I have so much trouble getting work done at home (my desk is more of a storage unit than a work space) so, I like to go to coffee shops for my productive time.

polaroid of my first night living alone

I usually would feel uncomfortable with the awkward exchange that comes with sitting next to strangers at the community table at Hopscotch Coffee or would have picked up the closest carton of strawberries at the farmers market just to avoid the small talk that takes place while examining my potential fruit pick.

When those activities became intentional social activities, the awkwardness faded away and the small talk morphed into friendly chats. I wouldn’t say I’ve made it to ~chill girl~ status in just one summer, but I’m well on my way.

LESSON 2:

House elves are not real.

Bright and airy white walled room pre move in

Talk about a total bummer. You actually have to clean your own dishes and roll the garbage cans down and up every week?! Obviously, being the well-adjusted and only a leetle bit spoiled girl I am, I knew that the household chores would be all on me this summer, but I didn’t totally grasp what the concept until I experienced it first hand. I’m guessing I’m not alone in that.

Since it was only me in the house for the first half of the summer, I was responsible for all things relating to actually making the house livable. I’m not one of those people who never touched a sponge or had to be taught by a floormate how to do laundry my freshman year, but I have been pretty darn lucky when it comes to chores.

The mess from moving out of my bright and airy white walled room

It’s a different kettle of fish at home; I have other people to share the duties of emptying the dishwasher or taking out the trash, etc. When you’re alone, there is no one else to blame for the moldy cheese in the back of the fridge. As if I would ever neglect cheese for that long.

Living alone didn’t teach me how to clean a house, but rather forced the discipline to clean one upon me…

pink and white peonies

LESSON 3:

Don’t microwave instant oatmeal in a mug for over a minute. Seriously, just don’t.

honey soaked almond baklava
homemade strawberry brioche french toast

I love to cook and bake, but before this summer, most of my culinary skills were put to use for larger groups. I used cooking and *meal prepping* as a creative outlet since a girl’s gotta eat anyway!

I learned how much fruit I eat in a week and I finally can relate to the epidemic of having that unopened plastic container of “mixed greens” haunting me from the middle shelf for weeks.

homemade cheeseburger quiche
low country boil with corn cobs, shrimp, new potatoes, andouille sausage, and onion
eggplant pizza with heirloom tomato, basil, and Parmesan

One night a couple weeks in, I was on the phone with my mom and she asked me what I was up to. “Oh I just whipped up a quick béchamel sauce for my leftover pasta.” A quick béchamel. A quick béchamel. As opposed to all the other béchamels I’ve (never) made?? Since no one was relying on me for the food to be edible or to be ready on time, I had room to experiment in the kitchen. I would crave a dish from a restaurant and then run over to the grocery store for the ingredients and make it instead.

I’m not saying that living alone turned me into Ina Garten, but I’m not not saying it either…take a look at the pictures of my meals below and you tell me.

sizzling homemade lamb meatballs
homemade cucumber tzatziki

Honorable Mentions

  • I don’t like protein and won’t eat it- or cook with it- if no one reminds me to.
  • I like being barefoot
  • I like talking on the phone more than texting and I was more intentional about checking in on friends I haven’t seen in a long time
  • Singing in the shower instead of listening for an axe murderer is the true sign of comfort in a new home.
  • I should accept help the next time someone offers to roll my garbage cans up the hill for me. It’s not worth the pride. 
Three things I learned from living alone
What I learned living alone

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