"Looking around at all that is between these four walls my heart overflows with gratitude. Everything in this space is a direct reflection of who I am and the journey I am traveling. The shelves are filled with books, art, and photographs. There are mini alters tucked in all around with pieces of nature and talismans from my travels. You may look at that glass jar filled with shells and think they are just shells but they hold the stories of my unearthing. You will not find a television but you will see a red bicycle with a basket and a cozy spot to sit and write.
I am the one who crafted this space. I am the one who made it happen. This is my little haven. It is in this space where I feel peaceful, safe and happy. I am free to dream. Free to grow. Free to do whatever my heart desires. I am grateful to be here alone." - words from my journal 2010
I came across these words as I was going through some of my old journals. I was immediately transported back to my tiny studio apartment which held me gently, gave me a new form of independence, and space to unearth who I am.
Prior to living alone I wasn't sure if I would be able to handle it. Would I get scared? Would it be lonely? Would I struggle? The answer to those three questions is yes. I would get scared. I would be lonely. I would struggle. But in living alone I gained the opportunity learn how to work through the tough moments. I grew stronger and more confidante in myself.
I remember one time in the middle of the night I woke up screaming. I had heard someone enter my apartment and it felt like they were standing over me. I turned on the lights, and luckily it being a studio apartment I was able to see everything. It was just a nightmare, there was no one there. But that nightmare rattled me and I couldn't fall back asleep. I had wished that someone was there to get my mind off of it. But it was just me.
There were other time when I was so grateful to know that the only way that my door was going to open was if I opened it. No one else had the key. No one else was expected to come home. It was just me. When I walked in the door everything would be where i left it. The only mess to clean up was my own.
On a daily bases I reminded myself to be grateful. Because once I found someone and possibly started a family I would not have my own space to come home to. I wouldn't be able to just leave and not tell someone where I was going. I wouldn't be able to leave my paint all over the kitchen counter. I wouldn't be able to do whatever it was my heart was calling me to do at any given moment. There would be other people I would have to check in with first.
For years I was searching for someone to make me whole. Thinking if I found the right boyfriend I would be finally be happy. But in living alone I learned that I was the one I was waiting for this entire time. No one was going to make me happy except myself. It isn't anyone else's job except my own. I had to figure out what light me up. I had to unearth what made me smile from ear to ear. I had to put in the time to figure it all out. No one would ever do that for me and I couldn't expect someone to.
Once I realized this everything shifted in me. I didn't worry about dating or finding the right guy. I dug in deep on a self exploration journey to find out what really made me happy. I dipped my toe into a lot of things that weren't me. I became an explorer and tried a lot of things on for size.
What I ended up learning is that who I am and what makes me happy was there all along, I just had to recognize it.
I am a writer. It is words that bring me joy. I am in love with reading and writing. I didn't ever see myself as a writer but slowly I began to give myself credit for it and embrace that this is who I am.
Living alone was a gift. An invaluable gift that I will forever cherish. I loved my studio apartment and how safe I felt there. I savor all of the memories that I made. The struggles, the hardship, the laughter, the loneliness, the creative energy, the conversations, the kisses, the unknowing. All of it is deeply engrained in me. I am a better person for having lived alone.