Sunday, 2 September 2012
I've heard all the lines and excuses under the sun for why it is so bad to have your own place. I get the 'poor you' looks and the woe be gone stares all the time, it is, quite frankly, boring, and a waste of people's efforts! So I am going to paint an honest picture, based on those lines, and once again attempt to slam some stereotypes.
1. There is no one around to clear up after you.
Good, it's my mess (if you are messy, I, personally, am not) and I will have it how I see fit. At least I know that when I put something down, it won't be moved, or thrown away, by someone else.
2. At least at home you have your dinner cooked and waiting for you.
Yes that's true, and thankyou very much. But sometimes I would like to cook for myself and eat when I choose. I may get in and fancy a take away or just a crisp sandwich, hell I may not want to eat until midnight, or maybe even not be hungry at all as I may have eaten a big lunch.
3. There is nobody for you to talk to.
Invite friends and family round, drop a text or an email to someone who has credit on thier phone, I am sure they will be happy to have a ten minute chat. Go out for a walk, say hi to the smiley stranger. Go to the local library. Pop over to a friend for coffee. Relish the fact that if you don't fancy seeing a single soul and would rather lose yourself in a book, watch a movie or play some music, that you can do just that without having to justify it.
4. You will struggle with money.
Yes, this is true, I won't sugercoat it. I once lived in my overdraft, however I have managed to clear it now (although I still have some debt from the past). But hand on heart, I wouldn't change a thing! I am not encouraging folk to get into debt, but let's be honest, most of us are in it. Using an overdraft isn't a crime, and as long as you do your research and keep on top of it, it can be managable. Just try your best not to have the store-cards, the loans, the credit cards etc, as it will catch up with you in the end. Sometimes I believe that those who struggle are happiest deep down because when they do finally get that bag or item of clothing they want, they realise that they have earned it and therefore deserve it. It makes you appreciate things and also makes you less materialistic. I used to think nothing of putting clothes on an old store-card, which I would then only wear once and then shove to the back of my wardrobe. It was easier to flit it away when I lived at home. I wasted lots of money this way. So yes impulse purchases will be a thing of the past, but let's be honest, how many of these rash buys are really treasured? I mean really loved and worn for years to come? Not many hey?
Yes ok you have to buy cheap food in supermarkets, but in most cases it tastes just as nice as the branded stuff. I have lots of points cards and will always use them. Deals and freebies? Yes please!
I have had to unfortunately knock my long term vegetarianism on the head. There is often leftover food at work which I would rather eat than throw away. I often feel guilty about having to turn my back on my beliefs but if the food is free, I can't really afford to be fussy about what is in it and also it is wrong to waste it.
5. I am worried that you will start drinking too much.
I like a drink, I will not pretend, but I liked a drink when I lived with others too. There is nothing nicer than sharing a bottle of wine with a close friend on a friday night whilst having a good gossip. It is even nicer when you do not have to worry that your loud cackles are keeping your mum or partner awake when they just want a quiet night. Most people prefer to drink with company, or if they do like a bottle of wine to themselves (which sometimes I do) there is a likelyhood they also liked this when they lived at home. Solo living doesn't always lead to refuge at the bottom of a whisky bottle.
6.There will be nobody around to do your laundry, ironing or chores.
Yes I know that. Where I live we do not have washing machines, but I either handwash, go to the laundrette, take washing with me on family visits, hell I have even used the washing machine at work from time to time. I rarely iron as usually I don't need to, and if I do need to do it, it's usually on a sunday afternoon with the music blaring. Ironing kareoke can be the best! I also usually dance around shaking my tush as I hoover as once again the stereo is on full pelt. There is nobody to moan about the washing up not being done, and no one to have a hissy fit if you don't pick up your jeans off the floor. Truth time, I have occasionally done some chores in the nude! Imagine your mum walking in on that!
7. You will be lonely.
Yes if you allow yourself to be. But in most cases solo living folk work full time and have family members and friends call them on a regular basis when they get home. I would lay my bottom dollar most people have a facebook or twitter account also in which they can have regular contact. Use your initiative, invite friends and family round or go and see them. Asking that workmate who has not long started at your company if she fancies popping round for a cuppa may just be appreciated. Going on a solo venture to a movie or to the gym will not only kill time but may also introduce you to new people. How will you know what is out there if you don't look for it. If you seal yourself away from the world then yes you will get lonely. Don't let it happen, I never did, and many people I know who live alone feel the same way.
So there it is, the honest picture, the truth bared. I really hope that someone who dreams of having thier own place reads this and realises that the doom stories are often not true. Yes there are people out there who have tried living alone and ended up not liking it, but then there are some of us who are currently living this way and will be happy to say that it's outshone all our expectations. The only way you will ever find out if you are cut out for this is if you try it. Surely it's better to experience life for yourself than live by the experiences and fears of others.