Why I live alone
I don’t think many of us planned on living alone as adults when we were children. As anyone grows, they learn what they like and do not like, what they can tolerate and what they would rather not. Living alone as an adult may be an example of what we want to do or seems to be what’s best for us. It may just be where we are at any one point as well. We are also taught growing up that living with someone — a partner, as our parents are examples for many of us — is something that we are supposed to end up doing. It becomes a sense of status. A sense of accomplishment. Nothing wrong with that. But this arrangement may just not be the best for some.
I’m the only one I can rely on. Many years with roommates will teach you to prioritize enough to have your own place no matter what you gotta sacrifice. Especially when their pets eat your shit. Or when a girlfriend gives you a guilt trip for not getting outta bed as early as she does and likes to bang pots and pans around to get you up, knowing that it pisses you off.
How I live alone
I learned to enjoy the times of having coffee or tea in the morning in peace, and getting my thoughts together for the day. Being alone can sometimes be lonely and sad, but if you’re bored or pissed you can go for a walk without telling someone “I need to go for a walk,” and it’s taken the wrong way. Being ill can lead to the need for help, but being ill alone can get you some of the best sleep in your life. Don’t be afraid of the occasional ailment. I had only lived in Albuquerque a few months before having an injury that left me in bed for months. I read many modern philosophers’ books until I sort of recovered. Many of those writers had unique and twisted humor. But those guys didn’t show any fear of the idea of death, which somehow left me feeling very comforted when I went to sleep for the night. I felt like I slept completely undisturbed.
I also have a cat that I have had for 11 years who is very social and curious. He has always had qualities that I’ve wanted to have myself: he’s calm, likes to explore, and appreciates simple things. Though he complains a lot less than I do. He is also a living example that I am fully capable of taking care of someone other than myself, though he’s very low maintenance. And the more I try to connect with him, the more he’s inclined to return the rewarding sentiment.
Living alone and the holidays
This one sucks, especially if you’re alone AND all your immediate family is dead. Holidays are just a reminder that everyone else seems to be excited or at least not alone, but you are. On the other hand, holidays can tend to lead to a nonstop agenda of deadlines and return trips to the grocery or liquor store for the dysfunctional family members you’d rather not see anyway. But many times I’ve ended up doing something with many friends for holidays, who have their own family nearby but didn’t plan to see them. So us loners, or anti-socials, would all get together, which made the holidays seem more of what we wanted them to be. It was a lot of fun and we could all sleep over at someone’s house or part ways later in the evening and get a good night’s sleep.
Living alone and relationships
I think we all would like to say yes to seeing ourselves with someone. But after living alone for a while, thinking what it would look like becomes just that — a thought, not a reality. Living alone helps you to stop looking for what you think a relationship’s gonna look like and then there may be more of a likelihood that it will show up and be what you actually need and can grow from.
Other people I know
Most people that I know that live alone — which are few, for reasons I’m sure are based on fear and insecurity — are either widows or sociopaths. Just kidding. Some are obsessed with focusing their alone time on establishing status. Some are really cool to be around but are intolerant of people. Some are just looking for a connection that they didn’t get from their elders’ advice to feel established just because they live with someone.
An old friend of mine that passed away over ten years ago — he lived alone. He was on the Prescott (Arizona) Fine Arts Association Board. Taught acting and sometimes was in plays himself. He was a good actor. He taught me that it’s important to show up for things that you’d said you’d show up for. Diligence, timeliness and follow-thru were things that I will always remember about him. It took me years to respect those things and express them with confidence. They’re things that obviously Albuquerque doesn’t teach and are quickly disappearing with the smart (stupid) phone generation altogether.
There were times when I was at his house when his ex-wife — who he’d remained good friends with — would come by. She’s a professional New Age pianist. After he died, she and I remained friends and we’re friends to this day.
And she lives alone.
Sprocket lives in the Southwest and works full time as a medical coder. In his free time, he’s doing motorcycle rebuilding projects and maintenance; writing songs and playing music; cooking; hangin’ out with his girlfriend and friends; riding and reading and makin’ homemade prickly pear wine.
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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