Wow, going back through blog drafts is rough. I have so many drafts that I never published. This one from March 2017 is especially gruesome to review, and it gets nostalgic in a way that doesn’t feel awesome on the cusp of 2019. But, I feel like I should finally publish it. I don’t even live there anymore because it was ultimately too expensive to be on my own, but I do look back on that apartment with fondness. It was exactly what I needed at a bad time, and back then I didn’t realize that one of my best friends had already started sleeping with him in secret, and that the other one was about to start. That era was awful but it was also downright innocent by comparison. It’s worth at least one post outside of draft purgatory.
Living alone is a critical boomerang to my previous living situation. While living with friends is a wonderful, fun, and meaningful experience, it also has many risks. When you let quirks and certain selfish personality traits of your friends overwhelm you on a day to day basis, it can hurt your relationships with them. I feel for even that one reason, leaving after three otherwise wonderful years at the house was the right call. There is such a thing as overstaying, and I think I was just on the cusp of doing so, but escaped before the little things stacked up and threatened to hurt my interpersonal relationships. An additional concern was my own growing antisocial nature. There is a certain expectation of friendliness when you live with your friends; one that my up-and-down financial crisis, frequent late night work hours, constant weekend trips away, and avoidance of the literal ex-in-the-basement make impossible to live up to. It is simpler to live alone when you anticipate being consistently away.
Finally, after living with family or friends for my entire life–and particularly in the same room with a partner for many years–my personal zen requires the space, peace, and quiet only a private apartment can provide. Endless granite counters, perfect living room, balcony over the community garden and lagoon-style pool deck, personal herb garden on the porch, harmonious bedroom and decor/accents…. and all for me. Privacy.
- Painting in the living room without taking up group space
- baking pies at 3am
- laundry at all hours
- loud, overnight guests on a whim
- candle-lit baths without thought for hogging the restroom
The possibilities are endless and carefree. I can’t wait to cook more with my own kitchen. No more fridge and cabinet Tetris, no more washing other people’s dishes and counter messes, and no more juggling stove usage across four people every night. Most of all, I’m looking forward to losing “the cloud” in my daily surroundings. Even though we retained all our friends, even though we parted as amicably as possible (all things considered), and even though I’ve moved on emotionally (as much as can be expected), the breakup still tainted the home. While I was out of town visiting someone on weekends, my ex would often go on the same kind of outtings with our friends I used to enjoy. I’d see the pictures trickle in on saturday and sunday afternoons and give a soft sigh, wondering why he or no one else thought to ask me. Every weeknight was interrupted with the logistical struggles of sharing an in-room bathroom with him and the forced conversation that ensued. Our breakup loomed over everything about the house like a fog. Even the house’s farewell party was tainted: we were the unspoken reason for the diaspora. I didn’t even want to attend. I fought about it at length with him the day before. It was all so forced. Everything there reminded me of our failure: my bedroom that’s too-big-for-one, my closet still filled with his clothes, his furniture and equipment in the corner, the pristine second sink that never gets used, the front door of the house that took me past the basement every day….
I was ready to be free of it.