When I considered where to move from my last apartment, I briefly thought about living alone. I’ve always had at least two roommates, and over the years I’ve grown used to the sweet moments in a shared space: chatting over the cutting board, exchanging recipes, trying each other’s food (or more accurately: me, shamelessly mooching my roommates’ food). Plopping down on each other’s beds, going over our days, wondering out loud what our next phases will bring. Mixing cocktails, sharing songs, taking walks through the neighborhood. Commiserating over our landlord’s good intentions yet awful execution. Experiencing our first Chicago apartment, together.
The idea of living alone and coming home to an empty apartment seemed like just that…empty. Despite that, something about the idea kept tempting me. In my own place, I would be able to decorate however I wanted, read/run/work/blog with no distractions, leave the dishes in the sink for a couple days with no one to judge me (Jim would probably encourage that behavior). I would experience complete independence, an idea as exhilarating as it was scary.
My extroverted side won out in the end, as did my budget, and I love my three-bedroom apartment and my two dear roommates. So when they told me that they were both going out of town for two weeks, all of those fears about living alone popped back up. The apartment was going to be so lonely! What would I do when I came home from work to an empty place, night after night?
Well friends, I have the answer. After spending two lazy, messy weeks on my own, I learned that there are quite a few perks to living alone…
9 Things to Do When Your Roommates Go Out of Town
- Enact a formal ban on pants. Flowing west African boubous or bust.
- Cook all the things! I made a lot of baba ghanoush and some very tasty breakfast rolls with scrambled egg wrapped in nori (seaweed sheets).
- Wash none of the dishes.
- Spread all your bills, letters and receipts on every available surface in hopes that you will be productive, but then…
- …take a nap in the living room with the sole air conditioner blowing on your face.
- Marathon-watch Pretty Little Liars.
- Take as many Instagram pictures of inanimate objects as possible. Colorful pens? Check. Container garden? On it. Delightfully garnished cocktail? Oh yeah. No witnesses, no judgment.
- Tell yourself that you’ll make good use of this time to clean, decorate and make healthy habits. Journal about how great this time will be and all the nice things you’re going to do for yourself.
- Laugh and get takeout instead.
Of course, an honest #10 would be, “miss your roommates, at least a little.” Because what I’ve found is that, while I love my space and my free time to run around with no pants on, people are the main reason that my house feels like a home. I’m glad to have them back…even if that means I have to wash the dishes.
What about you–what do you like or dislike about your living situation? Have you ever lived alone?