In 2017, I moved out on my own. I'd been living with my parents for 24 whole years. In February I decided it was time to go out on my own. I finally felt financially stable, and the long commute to work - four hours door to door in total - had left me exhausted. Moving to the city would not only mean not sitting on the train, but also improving my social life. In my mind I thought "With all the extra time, I'm going to conquer the city and make new friends". It has been over a year since, and I've learned A LOT about living on my own. I've learned about myself, about the logistics of rent, and of keeping house. Some lessons were important. Other lessons made me question the very nature of my being. Here are some of the lessons I learned the hard way:
Before moving out, I was convinced that I was perfectly fine on my own. I was so proud of myself for being "independent", and not needing others. This was perhaps the hardest lesson I learned. After the excitement of my new apartment wore off, I was left alone in a quiet space, without friends in a massive city, and too much time in my hands. I was so surprised at just how lonely I could be. Perhaps it was the certainty that I had family around me that kept me from realizing it. But 2017 was filled with so many changes, that I was overwhelmed and, frankly, sad. I needed people far more than I had ever allowed myself to believe. So what did I do? Well, I got a dog.
You think you want a big apartment? Think again. The more corners I have in my apartment, the more corners I have to worry about cleaning. It's not that I'm lazy or dirty. It's just that I never realized how much dust can collect in places. Add on top of that a dog that sheds - I hadn't expected this, and advise all to understand what it means to bring a shedding dog into their life - and I've got to sweep AND vacuum at least twice a week. Within 4 months of moving out, I developed allergies. Welcome to adulthood.
Out of everything I learned, this was the most satisfying. When a cockroach ran around my bedroom before getting killed by my shoe, I was able to clean up and not cry. Need a painting hung? I've got the hammer and the hook to put it up. Slowly I realized how much I was able to accomplish on my own. I dealt with my dog's vet appointments, and filed my taxes without help. No matter how difficult some things were, I was able to handle them. And when I needed help, I learned to reach out for a helping hand.