Learning to Live Alone

I live alone. By choice.

It’s trickier than I thought.

Never mind all the usual things like dishes-stay-in-the-sink-unless-I-wash-them and if-I-don’t-vacuum-nobody-vacuums, there’s the Alone part of it all.

I’m a social being. I may be more introvert than extrovert, but I love people. I mean, I love people when I can get away from people.

I enjoyed all my joint living experiences, even the places I couch-surfed after I ran away from my marriage before I had money enough to have the security of renting a room from a friend. Hanging with my grandgirls at my oldest daughter’s, learning about craft beer from my youngest daughter and her spouse, laughing my head off with my friend’s grown kids, digging in the garden in my shelter stay.

Knowing there were people nearby was soothing especially when my nerves were shot after my marriage. Having people to talk to and giggle with was healing and took my mind off the troubles of my world.

People both energize me and exhaust me. I am somewhere near the middle of the scale of introvert vs extrovert but always require down time after being around others.

But living alone? A whole new way of being over this last year plus of single home-ownership. I guffaw alone at the TV, and turn to the dog or the cat to say “did you hear that?” but they remain mostly disinterested.

I get up and drink coffee alone. Stay in bed however long I want to, feeling no pressure to Get My Day Going. I cook what I want, or have popcorn for dinner if I don’t feel like cooking. That part is amazing.

It’s also lonely. Talking to myself is not as satisfying as one might hope, and while the dog and cat are adorable, they’re terrible conversationalists and never offer me a cold beverage when I come inside after a walk.

It’s a new world for me here on my own in Tennessee, 2500 miles from family and friends. No day trips to the beach, no staying overnight to wake up and jabber our faces off over coffee.

I’m making new friends here, slowly. Getting involved in volunteering for the animal rescue, listening to and telling stories while pretending to craft, joining a book club, finding local hangout spots.

But at the end of the day it’s just me and the pets.

Just me and the pets.

Nobody asking for anything, needing anything, expecting anything….

I think I feel nappish–does anybody mind? Of course not! Come on, roommates! Where’s my book?

Do something kind for yourself today. Something simple, even, just to show yourself that you are worth loving. You are worth doing for.

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