Why live alone?
I live alone because I love having my own private oasis where I can be myself 100% and have complete control over my environment. I highly value beauty and a reasonable amount of order, so living alone means no one messes up or pollutes my space in any way (without my permission). I also live alone because I haven’t yet found my Beloved with whom to share my oasis!
Managing stress and staying grounded
During times of stress, I typically reach out to my sister and close friends/members of “my tribe” for support, advice or venting. I journal and put helpful thoughts and images on my visioning walls. I do self care: napping, watching a movie, taking a bath, exercising, digging in the dirt, laying in the grass, hugging a tree (really) etc. The earth grounds me and sci-fi movies help me leave the planet for a while.
I’m a gregarious introvert so being alone rarely bothers me. I like my own company and my solitude and when I’m content and calm I frequently crack myself up! I do get lonely at times, but typically I feel more lonely being around the “wrong” people, or in groups of strangers than by myself. I also have a 15-year old tabby who is the best roommate EVER, and my longest relationship with a male! Male cats are to me the best of cat and dog worlds. He waits for me, greets me at the door, follows me around and talks to me… yet also snuggles, keeps himself super clean and entertains himself when I’m away or busy. Snuggling with him and laughing at his hilariousness is some of the best heart medicine.
As a solo dweller I spend holidays with my sister, friends, parties for “strays”, my partner when I’m in relationship, or even alone. The latter sounds pitiful to some, but to me it can be quite nice — no drama, expectations, cooking disasters or dishes!
Having grown up in the L.A. area, and having lived in or traveled to some of the biggest cities in the world, I’m really good at paying attention to my surroundings, listening to my instincts, deterring predators with my nonverbal behavior and habitually exercising what I call “urban precautions” whenever I’m walking, in my car, or even in my own yard. Also, any time I have to climb on my roof to do swamp cooler maintenance I either do it when I know my neighbors are home, or in front of my house (not the back). This way, anyone passing by will see me lying bloody in my yard or driveway if anything went awry!
Sharing my space
I would absolutely live with my future Beloved as long as he’s neat, clean, respectful, and understands my need for physical and emotional space. (Actually, I don’t think I’d date anyone seriously that didn’t meet those criteria!) The two times I’ve lived with a man (one partner, one husband) we negotiated that stuff fairly well – that’s not why the relationships ended. I think sharing space again would involve some negotiation and co-creating clarity, and I envision ease around understanding what each other wants and needs, space-wise and otherwise.
Other singletons I know
Besides Kimberlee I think I have four other friends my age (forty-ish) and my sister who live alone. One of my friends has her 9-year-old daughter part time. We don’t talk about it, other than how much we dig it – unless we’re sick. Our pets haven’t quite figured out how to make us soup or go to the pharmacy!
I do think about the health risks of living alone as I age (no one around to pick me up off the floor), but if I end up being unpartnered in my crone years I plan to seek some kind of roommate or communal non-nursing home living situation.
Susana Rinderle is an Albuquerque-based trainer, coach, facilitator and President of Susana Rinderle Consulting, LLC. She’s ending racism by helping good people turn good intentions into positive impacts. She also equips organizations to create inclusive environments where brilliance and excellence flourish. Susana has travelled to (for business or pleasure) over half the states in the US and 15 additional countries. She has lived in Mexico twice and been to half of the Mexican states. Susana is also a poet and spoken word artist, as well as an occasional singer-songwriter and dancer. She’s been a competitive runner, fitness instructor, and boxer, but now mostly lifts weights, takes spinning classes and walks a lot. She’s the oldest of three children and the sixth Jane (her middle name) in a row through her matrilineage. She loves trees, birds, rocks, gardening, hiking and the outdoors.
This is part of the Who but You? living alone series. Check out the other posts! They are published every Monday.
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