Life

Thoughts on living alone

I’ve been living solo in Astoria, Queens for a little over 4 months now. Overall, I’m so glad I made the decision to move out here – I’ve grown to love this neighborhood and have learned so much about myself and how to be a real adult.

However, there have definitely been some negative moments these past few months, and it’s been hard to overcome this overwhelming feeling of loneliness. This post is to reflect on my experience so far and to shed some light for anyone thinking about living alone as well!

What I love about living alone:

  • Privacy – little things like blasting music while I work, playing my guitar, and cooking freely without having to share space…it’s SUCH a luxury. Oh, and having my own bathroom…amazing. They say once you live alone you can’t go back, and I’ll definitely miss the privacy if I ever go back to having a living mate.
  • I’m sleeping and studying better – no room mates = less noise distractions! I’m an early-to-bed-early-to-rise kind of gal, and it was always hard to find roommates who jibe with that.
  • I’m much cleaner – when I was sharing an apartment with two other girls last year, I felt like I was doing my bare minimum share of chores for the apartment. Now, if I don’t step up, no one will make up for it. This sense of self-accountability makes me so much more proactive at keeping my apartment tidy! (FYI I do a deep clean ~once/week)
  • I’m more independent – going along the previous point, there’s no one to lean on except myself when it comes to paying every bill, installing my heavy AC unit, killing every insect (this is one area I wish I had a roommate for!)…it’s made me so much stronger and showed me that I can do more than I imagined.
  • I treasure my social time – I really look forward to meeting up with friends now! Before, a lot of my social time felt like obligation, but now I enjoy every moment with friends (and even strangers) so much more. It’s also made me more proactive in reaching out to people to meet up.
  • Sense of home – Something about sharing space always gave me a feeling that it wasn’t completely mine. I definitely have gained a big sense of home since moving here, where I can decorate and do exactly what I wanted with it. It also helps that Astoria is a comfty urban-residential combo.

What I don’t love about living alone

  • Not having someone to share my thoughts with – I definitely took this for granted when I had roommates. It was actually SO nice to always have someone to turn aside to and say what was on my mind, no matter how big or small. As a mild extrovert, I’m someone who loves to have people to help work through my thoughts, and now there’s an extra step of calling/texting friends verses having someone just there.
  • Less spontaneity – when I had roommates and lived in the heart of Manhattan, it was so easy to share meals, have movie nights, or spontaneously do other activities with friends. Now, my social engagements are planned in advanced, leaving little room for last minute plans.
  • General feeling of loneliness – this is the big one. Around one month into moving into this apartment, I started truly feeling lonely. So much of my day was spent alone – running alone, working at the office without my friends (like I’ve mentioned in previous posts, it’s been rare to see Phil/Scott/Christine in the office these days), and then coming back to the apartment alone…it was incredibly hard to handle. I made every excuse to leave the apartment to visit friends in Manhattan, only to find myself exhausted from the commute and resenting my time in Queens. I knew that if I didn’t adjust my mentality, I would be miserable this entire year. It’s still a work in progress, but I do think I’ve learned how to cope with this better (ie buying my guitar and focusing on studying recently). Loneliness is one of my least favorite feelings, but I know that this whole experience is making me stronger and helping me appreciate what I do, not don’t have in my my life.

 

Overall, I definitely don’t regret moving to the outer-burroughs. If I didn’t make the move, I’d always wonder what if. For those in similar situations, remind yourself of how courageous you are for doing this. I think back to when I made the decision to move here by myself…I was pretty terrified and unsure if this was the right choice, but there was a strong feeling in my gut that I needed to do this. I think moving to new places when we’re young is so valuable, to learn what we love and don’t love, and to challenge ourselves out of our comfort zones – only through these experiences can we come to that.

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