I have been living alone for about six months now. And while it took some adjusting, I have definitely found the comfort and freedom in it. Sometimes I look around in awe thinking, this is my little place, isn’t it? My corner of the world that I created all by myself. And that’s kind of magical.
There is a quote from Dolly Alderton’s book, Everything I Know About Love, when she moves into a place of her own for the first time. She says, “I was completely alone but I had never felt safer.” And I think that really captures the feeling perfectly.
Living alone has allowed me to create my own routines and do my own thing. It has allowed me to relax in a way I don’t feel I ever have before. It also allows me to get weird. To talk to myself constantly. To do whatever it is that feels right in the moment because it’s just me, baby!
There is no one popping in, confused, to say, “what are you doing?” and so everything I’m doing seems normal(ish). This got me thinking about what someone might find if they *did* pop in unannounced. Or if, at random points of the day, a video camera showed footage of me in my living room. (Let’s not make it weird, this is all in good fun.)
If that were to happen, here are five things you might see:
1) Me going “full burrito mode”
I kicked off the year with a lot of yoga. I did the Center 30 Day Yoga Challenge with Yoga with Adrienne, and there was one day during the challenge where, as we transitioned into savasana, Adrienne encouraged us to wrap ourselves up in our blankets. To snuggle in. Whether that was covering just your feet, maybe your legs and torso, or going full burrito mode, curling yourself up in that blanket so it went from toes to chin. And you better believe on that cold January afternoon I went full burrito.
2) Me doing my “puzzle of the day” jig
One of my favorite functions of my Alexa is playing puzzle of the day. It’s a short word puzzle that usually takes less than five minutes. I like to brush my teeth and then play the puzzle of the day while I wash my face. Alexa, play puzzle of the day, I will say as I slowly and gently massage my facewash into my pores. There will be a few moments pause, and then the puzzle of the day theme song will come through the speakers and it gets me every. time.
3) Me doing puzzle affirmations
Another beginning of the year project I started was a puzzle that a friend gave me for my birthday. I dumped out the 1000 pieces on my dining room table and would check in on it whenever I needed a mind break from everything else. I loved doing my puzzle and listening to Playing Along with Norah Jones, it was relaxation at its finest. During quarantine, I wrote this blog where I pretended doing a puzzle was a sporting event people were watching on TV, and I found myself in the same headspace while doing this puzzle at my dining room table. When I would find a piece, or maybe two or three, I would throw my hands up and say, “how does she do it folks?!” or “she is too good!” It made for a much more enthusiastic puzzle experience.
4) Me greeting my house
Like I said, I love my little house. So when I get home I like to say hello. It is my safe place, my reliable friend that will invite me in after a long day. “Hey house,” I say when I open the door. Or, after a particularly hard day, I’ll drop my purse down, shut the door, and say, “SHEESH” before getting in my comfy clothes and settling in for the night. I also walk around giving positive affirmations to my plants because I heard that helps them grow.
5) Me breaking the silence
Unless I’m on the phone, singing along to Spotify, or occasionally imitating funny or interesting lines off the television, I tend to spend a lot of time being quiet when I’m at home. I have entire conversations inside my head. I exist in my own little world which, when it’s not terrifying, can be quite glorious. But sometimes—and this never fails to make me laugh—I’ll be thinking through a problem and I’ll get an idea, so I’ll say—out loud, to no one except myself—“that’s true!” after hours of not saying anything. I always imagine someone saying, “huh?” and looking around as if they missed something. Which, obviously, they have, because I just solved world peace in my head.