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Living On My Own

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Two months into solo am I finding it?

Mostly I love it. Just me (and Oscar, obvs) pottering around my little house, surrounded by an awful lot of books. It's not that life before this was particularly constricting in any way - far from it - but no matter how much you love the people you live with, sharing a house is not the same as having your very own space.

I'm typing this while curled up in my big armchair in the library, listening to the radio and casting the occasional glance into the living room where young Catpants is snoozing happily on his blanket on the sofa. It's a modest enough achievement - I'm sure people dream of grander houses and newer furniture and big massive televisions - but it's something that I've wanted for a long time and I've worked and saved so hard for it.

Living solo doesn't bother me.  I like my own company and I'm perfectly happy like this. We did Insights training at work last year and it's official: I'm an oddbod. Most people have a very similar personality profile in and out of work but mine is completely different. Like, freakily so. I'm red/green at work (which is unusual enough anyway - you're meant to clash with your opposite segments, not be half them!) and blue/yellow at home. In simple terms, I'm an extrovert at work but a massive introvert at home. I need my quiet time and space where I don't have to talk to anyone. It suits me down to the ground to have things this way.

The thing I'm not loving is the anxiety. I really hope this will die down with time because it's a pretty constant nagging feeling in my stomach at the moment and I don't like it. It's probably just post-purchase blues: that sudden whack of realisation that all the slog and then the excitement of renovation/redecoration/moving in is over and you now owe the bank an absolute fuckload of money and that everything that goes wrong is your responsibility to pay for/fix (ooh, what will it be that breaks first?) and you still haven't finished paying off the carpets on the credit card (and how chuffing expensive are carpets btw?!) and you're never going to have any money ever again. Only that's all on my shoulders. No-one else to split the bills and share the worry with. Just me. Freaking out about it somewhat.

Like I say though, I'm hoping this will dissipate eventually.  As one of my oldest and best friends said at the weekend, "You should be really proud of this, Alex." 

I am. I really am. I just need to settle into appreciating that.


  1. I know exactly what you mean. I've lived on my own a lot (without carpets for three years because, yeah, are they made of unicorn fleece or something?!) and most of the time I loved it - as long as I was renting, I had no worries at all. I owned my last flat, though, and it was old and creaky and leaky and I remember sitting on the floor in tears when mould appeared on the bedroom wall one morning, feeling like there was absolutely no way that I could cope with that - I didn't know who to phone and I didn't know if I could afford to fix it and it just felt far too big for one person all on her own. Except somehow I DID get it sorted. And every other crisis which came along. And I feel so much stronger for it now - when problems come up now, instead of crying, I just take a deep breath and solve them; living on my own has taught me how.

  2. I think that would stress anyone out a bit, but just think how worth it it all is! I love that Matilda print, very Alex :)

  3. Your friend is right, you should be so proud of yourself. Speaking as a London dweller, I am absolutely nowhere near the point of buying my own place. If I had to move, I'd have to live with strangers as I can't even afford to rent by myself. It's pretty depressing but I'm trying to save as much as possible; I really am so jealous! Congrats lovely, it looks like you're living the dream.

  4. I absolutely love living on my own. I need my own space too much to be able to cope with sharing with others.

  5. own it! be proud that you do all this! You will get there :) xx

  6. You really should be proud, it's an amazing achievement. I also love alone time, and found that part of houseshares tricky... But, when I am totally alone for more than a night or so, I also find it quite anxiety-provoking. And I eat rubbish (because there's no shame!). You will get used to it in no time I'm sure though. P.S. Your house looks lovely! x

  7. I'm massively introvert so living at home alone suited me fine.

    Lizzie Dripping

  8. I enjoyed living on my own. I discovered after living in Bali by myself that I had to have that time by myself, I just can't cope with being with people all the time.
    Yes, home purchase is scary and I can imagine the sick feeling, but you are blooming brilliant to have got to where you are with it. That is a significant achievement and how lovely to have your own space you can do whatever you want in. I really want to see all your bookshelves and the *gasp* library!!x

  9. I loved, loved, loved living on my own - I rented a flat on my own for 2 years before buying my house, and then lived here alone for almost 5 years before I met Thomas and he moved in. But yeah, I remember the night I got my keys and let myself in, sitting on the stairs in tears in a complete panic attack about all the responsibility. It definitely eased over time, and although when things go wrong it's still a huge "oh fuck" moment, after the first few months I started to just enjoy rather than feeling anxious all the time.

  10. I think you are amazing, you have worked so hard for this and I love seeing the snippets as it all comes together. I have never been good at living alone, blame growing up in a huge family, but I really admire anyone who does!

    Maria xxx

  11. It's an amazing achievement. I lived on my own (rented) but it was still quite scary! When Mr W and I bought our place I did get the anxiety thing, we have had our fair share of boiler breakdowns and washing machine issues in our couple of year togethers so far, but you do work our how to deal with it. We've not bought carpets yet, but we endure the expense of LED/halogen lights in this house- £25 for a lightbulb WTF?!

  12. I've just discovered your lovely blog via Elsie's. I've loved reading back over your home owenership story - huge congrats on such an exciting move. I can't wait to one day buy my own home and not have a stuffy landlord wagging his finger at my cat or telling me I can't drill any picture hooks into the wall. Plus I completely identify with your introvert/extrovert inside and outside of work personality. I work as a librarian which means (contrary to popular opinion) that I spend all day dealing with people so by the time home times comes I need to just switch off and be quiet for a little bit.Oh and your Mary Poppins mug a few posts ago is amaaazing!!

  13. You should be humongously proud of what you've achieved! And I completely understand that it doesn't feel like it but I honestly think it's even the more awesome that you have done it on yourself. This house is YOURS and no-one else's. And yes I know, it isn't really there's a mortgage etc etc but no, this house is yours. My flat is always going to be someone else's to do what they want with.

    Plus you're a sensible gal, you wouldn't have taken on something you couldn't have coped with - far better than suddenly being plunged from halving all the bills to having to pay for them all yourself.

    I feel a little bit like this about my car - I am constantly waiting for it to break because I know it's going to happen, obviously, it's a car. But I swear every time I start it, I cringe because I'm waiting for it to stop working...

  14. You should indeed be proud. You are brave, independent and incredibly determined to succeed. Hats (no pun inteneded) to you x x x


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