Tuesday evening and its around 7:15pm. I just put Raaya down to sleep after a full work day (alhumdullilah) and a productive cleaning/cooking day at home. I love days like this. I’ve spent the last few days moping around because I was so exhausted from our travels to Florida last week. Disney wore me out. Just another reminder of my aging. Now that my laundry is done and my cooking for the week is complete – I can sit back and put my feet up. This is my favourite part of the day. I love unwinding. My hectic schedule requires me to sit in the quiet and just enjoy the stillness or I’ll go insane.
I’ve now lived alone for 5 years so I have a good grip on what it looks like. If you’re in the midst of the demise of your relationship – what I’m about to share will set your expectations up for your unforeseeable future.
When someone tells me they have good news and bad news – I always ask for the bad first. So that’s how I’ll position this piece. I’ll begin with the cons and end on a good note with the pros of living on your own.
The first thing that comes to mind is responsibilities. It is the bane of my existence. Managing an entire house, a mortgage, the bills, property taxes, and so on is very difficult. I have never really been one to budget or watch incoming or outgoing (alhumdullilah). If I did, I would simply pass away from the stress. I worry about money – a lot. Not having anyone to share your expenses with takes a major toll. I don’t collect support of any kind so you know I’m losing sleep at night worrying about the future. Taking out the garbage, doing the pickup/drop off, cooking & cleaning, laundry, household tasks, etc., also consumes so much of my time that the balancing act of roles that are often shared by two people in a home fall solely on your shoulders. Through organization and planning, you can manage. But the load does feel heavy. Alhumdullilah, of course.
Secondly, I guess in hindsight it would be nice to share your day with someone. It’s been so long since I’ve seen a man walk in this house that I almost forgot what that feels like. What am I missing out on? Maybe someone to watch a movie with, or someone to talk to at dinner, or maybe someone to support you after a rough day. (Can I be honest? It took me so long to think of what another person can contribute to your life that it took me forever to format that last sentence lol.) There was a time when I felt lonely but that feeling is also far gone. I’ve become so comfortable in my own silence and solitude that I’m not exactly sure what someone else brings to your life. Sad, I guess. But I don’t feel sadness over it.
Another downfall of living alone is how comfortable you get living alone. It happens without you noticing. For me it’s to the point where I know if I was to settle down again, sharing space with another human being that isn’t Raaya would be so difficult. Not impossible, just difficult. I like how I’ve set up my minimalistic home and how clean it is and I don’t want to have to compromise my closet space. Selfish, I know.
But to be honest – there are so many more pros. I love being alone. My home is so clean and organized. ALL. THE. TIME. Mind you, it’s very easy for me to keep it this way considering my child is so clean and organized herself. I only have to cook for Raaya and I. I don’t have to deal with snoring or a man walking out of his pants and leaving them on the ground. I don’t have to look at shaved clippings in my white bathroom. My home is exactly how I leave it. I don’t have to come home to a mess I didn’t make. Did I mention that I take up every single closet in this house?
Forget all that – the best part about living alone is becoming your own best friend. Ultimately, you only have yourself. So imagine having the time and space to be able to get to know who you truly are outside of being a wife, mom or daughter. I can say 80% of women will never have the time to truly figure that out, while juggling all those hats. Not to say they’re not as well off as me. Just to say – they have much more to manage than I do. They don’t easily have the means the way I might because they may be distracted. I have never solidified my self-confidence and purpose like I have in the ladder part of this year – simply by intentionally staying alone. It is so fulfilling! I don’t rely or depend on anyone but my Lord. That is the best feeling in the world. Alhumdullilah.
Lastly, living alone really forces you to grow up. It forces you nto responsibility. Catapults you into growth. I don’t know whether to categorize this as a pro or a con but personally, I have enjoyed it. Although stressful and tiring, I love my simple routine that isn’t steered in any direction besides the direction I want it to go in.
So if you are contemplating what it may be like to be on your own – just know it comes with a huge transition period. Humans are social creatures. We need companionship like we need water. But don’t let that deter you from the contentment and peace that the quiet of your home brings. InshAllah, you have health and a roof over your head – you’re better off than so many people. Go into it embracing the change and get excited at all the potentail growth you’re about to embark on.
Photography: Preston Neville
FB: Preston Neville Photography
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