Intentionality

Learning to Live Alone

At almost 27 years old (come this Thursday…), this is the first time I have lived alone.

In college, I lived with roommates each of the four years. After college, I had many more roommates. And then for the last two and a half years, I have lived with Santiago.

With Santiago now in India for the summer, this is the first time I have lived by myself. Now it’s just me in a one bedroom apartment in New York City.

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I am learning how to cook for myself again. Remembering what its like to come home to an empty apartment. How to get ready in the morning for work with no one else around. How quiet it can feel. And how freaky it can feel being alone in an apartment after you’ve spotted a mouse!

I’m choosing not to be sad. Being sad would just make the time more difficult being apart from Santiago.

Instead, I see this time alone as good, to learn to be on my own. We are all individuals. We are each uniquely special. So I am taking this time to remember who I am and what it is that is important to me.

I sometimes go to sleep at 9:30pm. I sometimes watch Harry Potter movie marathons. I like to eat brussel sprouts. I like black beans with cheese. I watch cheesy rom-coms. I find myself watching youtube videos on yoga positions that I don’t know how to do and then trying to do them.

It’s not that I don’t do these things when living with Santiago or with roommates, but I take into account their opinions too when making decisions. For example, I don’t make brussel sprouts with Santiago, because he doesn’t like them, and there are plenty of other foods that we both like.

I hope I also can spend more time with my friends. I have great friends in New York City, and I hope that I can create more moments with them.

I think it’s important to see the best in any situation. I know that I am incredibly privileged to have the life that I do, and I am grateful everyday for it. Living alone is just part of this life experience, and I will do my best to make the most of it!

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4 thoughts on “Learning to Live Alone

  1. A wonderful reflection, Allie. I did not live alone until Gert’s death. However, sometime earlier when I was 35 I participated in a sensitivity training workshop where I learned to reflect on looking with my own eyes and making y own choices, after I had seen the world partially through the eyes of my parents and 11 year older Gert. I considered the question of what I thought and what I wanted and how I perceived the world. I looked at the political landscape differently than Gert though not diametrically opposed. I looked at religion differently than he did. He food choices were not so memorable. But he loved liver and I did not, which meant that poor guy hardly ever got any. He wanted me to remain the stay at home mom or to become a physician–the best work he could imagine. But I was able to forge my identity through my vision and desires. I did not want to be a physician. I wanted to be a teacher. that was in my genes and is still part of my essential identity. The year and a half between marriages I chose was I wanted to do and who I wanted to be with. Part of it was being with you grandchildren then and learning that it was fulfilling but never my own total life. I also learned that I needed to be with people of my own age, my generation that had lived through some of the times I had lived through. I wish you a fruitful time. Oma

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    1. Oma, thank you for this very thoughtful response. I’m glad that you stayed true to yourself and became a teacher. It seems that we are constantly learning about who we are and what makes up our life.

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  2. Another new experience. Here I am almost 79 years old, and I have never lived alone. You are so lucky to have the opportunity to learn how to take care of yourself, to make your own choices, to be in charge of your own life. You will gain such confidence within yourself. I have regretted not knowing that I would be “OK” on my own. You will grow and learn how to live your own life, your way. You go, Girl.XXOO

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    1. Thanks Nons! I am lucky to learn to take care of myself at 27 and not when I’m older. Learning now what is important to me and what life can be like on my own, and not to be worried about being alone. Living alone is easier when you know that you have a wonderful family and friends.

      I know you will be fine on your own too. You will always still be you. Thanks for all your loving support Nons. I hope we will catch up soon on the phone. xo, Al

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