To some it may not be a big deal, but allow me to show you my side, I grew up in a very big family, my house on a bad day had 8 people on a good one had 14. My mother and grandmother always believed that if someone needed a meal and a bed their house was always open; even when I went away to university I was in a house with numbers. So now, I have zero friends here that I can call up, or family to pop in by. It is not till yesterday speaking with my friends on the phone, that I came to realize. I am alone, not that I’m lonely – no, its just. I live alone.
I’ve been abroad for approximately a month and a half, and I’ve been living by my lonesome for the better part of a week, and I have quite sometime to go again. Living alone however I’ve noticed a couple things though.
First, I talk to myself -out loud – a lot. Whether its me agreeing if the pot needs more salt, wondering what groceries I need to get or giving myself the pep talk to investigate what was that noise in the night and subsequently telling myself how much this was a bad idea. Does that mean I’m off my rocker ? No. When friends caught me giggling and ask, “What’s the matter ? ” I’d always make a quip about how sparkling the conversation is in my head. Now, I just let it out loud expecting my flat mates to respond. Nightmares of the bottom by Lil Wayne is on loop in the background ( why I’m stuck on that song I’m yet to figure out), the ceaseless drone of frogs is punctuated by the shrill of some unknown creature on the neighboring mangrove, the cat walks by – looks at me – and continues about her business. There is a lazy old dog in the corner making use of the cat bed, as the cat prefers to stretch across the high window over looking the streets. These are my flat mates, and their conversation skills are abysmal. So while others take selfies, my narcissistic practice of choice is speaking to myself.
Second, is the sweet freedom of being in your undies or naked. You’re not going to offend anyone walking into a room, or risk almost tearing a muscle as you make the sharp turn out of a room because you didn’t know that you had guest. You just have to remember to put your pants on as you go to put out the trash or close the blinds as you dance in your kitchen, that’s if you don’t mind putting on a show. My neighbors across the way smiled and waved at me as I gave them a free dance show.Either they enjoyed it or didn’t know how to process it, they also don’t speak a lick of English or are great pretenders.
Which leads me to my next point, everything becomes a production but equally highlights the fact that you are alone. From dancing in your undies as you make a meal, to feeding the animals who only acknowledge your existence when food is involved. The other day I bought ice cream, and the only thing I dirtied was a spoon, I ate right out the tub, and only had to wash a spoon after.
Fifth and probably the most surprising point, I am messy as hell, but I sure do clean house well so that balances it out. Swear the sink gets emptied looks so sexy and stainless, and then the pile up happens and there is no longer a clean surface to make a sandwich on. Lets not even make mention of how you now notice why your mom made such a fuss not to pee in the shower, now i come out and use the bathroom (don’t judge me like you never did that before). The real beauty of it all is that you feel a sense of pride knowing that you cleaned it all by yourself and it will stay that way. Not to mention you cannot be mad at the person who is leaving all those dishes in the sink, and there is no one to be mad at you either.
Living alone, especially in a country where you have to make new friends and come out of your shell, teaches you a lot about yourself. You realize how much you enjoy your solitude. I am a very social person and I love meet ups and parties, but I’ve known for a long while, I do my best re charging away from everyone and now I can do so without people thinking I’m being a snob to them. I also realize how much I like simple things like drinking Campari alone whilst the cat chases a grasshopper as the sun goes to its bed behind the trees of the swamp. I’m sure I have a lot more to learn and discover on this journey but so far I can say without a doubt. I live alone but … I’m not lonely.