Eastern Eye (UK)
The importance of living alone
HAVE you seen that social media meme? The one that says, ‘some people don’t understand that sitting alone in your house, in peace, minding your own business, is priceless’. Well, I am currently a walking, talking version of that meme. Why, you might ask? Well, if you follow me on social media, you will see that just before Christmas I bought my first ever home at the age of 40. It was quite an achievement and if I was still living in London, I know I would not have been able to ever afford it alone.
Let me tell you, I am learning a lot! I am learning about energy suppliers, TV licenses, council tax (top tip – if you are single, you get 25 per cent off) and all the other bills involved in running a household. But the biggest achievement I am proud of is the DIY and home decorating I have learned. Over Christmas, I painted my flat, ripped up the carpet and cleaned almost everything all alone. And I loved it! It was an exhilarating feeling being able to walk around your own home and say ‘I did this’.
However, there are downsides to being a single woman living alone. Even though I lived alone for nearly nine years in London, since lockdown, I have been living with my parents where I had them and my gorgeous dog for company. And, I must admit, I really miss my dog Tia. For me, a home isn’t a home without a dog.
In my opinion, everyone should live alone once in their life, in the same way that someone should experience solo travel. You will learn so much about yourself and enjoy your own company. You can go days without talking to someone when living alone and learn about the contentment of your own company, which is so important. You will learn to fix things, manage your money, experiment with new recipes, be able to do as you please without having to answer to anyone, and cope with unexpected challenges. All of this will ultimately make you wiser and stronger.
To any of the younger generation, my advice is to save your money, if you can. Yes, I rented and lived alone, but being able to decorate my home in the way I want and live how I desire is something I am enjoying more than I thought. Before a partner or children come along, live alone, and learn about you.
I will leave you with a quote from mental health advocate Michael Josephson, “If you want to be happy, learn to be alone without being lonely. Learn that being alone does not mean being unhappy. The world is full of interesting and enjoyable things to do and people who can enrich your life.”