Life

Why You’re Living Your Best Life If You Live Alone

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Have you ever wondered what it’d be like to rule an empire? Act as absolute magistrate over all that your eyes can see? Well, I’m going to tell you and spoiler alert: It’s amazing. If it helps, think of me as Mufasa holding you up to observe the breadth and depth of a modest studio apartment costing roughly 30% of your monthly income. Everything the incandescent light touches is your kingdom and you alone control it with an iron fist. Are you scared? Are you excited? You should be both because living on your own makes you the supreme leader of the sovereign nation of you and as history has shown that power will inevitably change and corrupt you (in all the best ways.)

So, whether you’re moving out of your parents house, leaving your college dorm, breaking up, fed up with roommates or moving out of your parents (again) here are some of the perks to living alone.

Clothes? Where we’re going we don’t need clothes

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You don’t have to answer this out loud, but think about it; Why do you wear pants? If you finally have the day off after a week of overtime plus commute time do you wanna wake up, slip on a snug pair of Levi’s and zip in for a day of lounging around? Is that really who you are or is that just how being surrounded by other people in your home for years has conditioned you to behave? There is a particularly liberating feeling to shunning pants, tops, socks, and whatever when you live on your own. And if it gets cold just crank the thermostat. Remember; you make the rules here.

We were born naked it’s how we’re meant to live and — if we plan it right — die.  After years of living with family, girlfriends and then roommates I learned to love the lonely sound of my belt cracking as I whipped it off Indiana Jones style while walking in the door. It was the sound of emancipation. Even if you’re progressive enough to have curated a relationship where walking around in various states of undress is acceptable there is still the risk of running across your roommates gaming group when you’re only wearing socks and on your way to the fridge to finish off the takeout from last night.

Your bathroom is a wonderland

I don’t want you to think too hard about this but why do you think Superman really had a Fortress of Solitude? You see,  some people can’t use public bathrooms at all. It isn’t a personal failing but rather a perfectly natural response to having to leave yourself vulnerable in public. You may not have considered this but when you share your home bathroom with someone it’s halfway to being public. You understand why Batman had that secluded Bat Cave now? What if you want or need to take a long time? Do you need the anxiety of knowing that on the other side of that thin door a loved one (or worse, someone you met on Craigslist) is straining to listen to season 1 of Serial over the sound of whatever is going on with you? Not to mention the horror of needing to use the bathroom immediately after someone. But this is really only half the discussion.

If you want to take a long hot bath or a cinematic soul nourishing shower you shouldn’t have to worry about saving hot water or being out in time for your roomie to use the toilet. Bathing at will and for as long as we want is the tiniest of luxuries afforded to most people. Long decadent, candle lit baths can become your regular meditative escape and it’s a comfort you deserve. Short, brisk showers are for prison.

Sharing is boring

Wanna slay a six-pack of non craft beer without feeling compelled to share? Feel like watching something on the big screen with full surround and not having to capitulate to the whims of your boyfriend who just needs to check in on the Kardashians right now? Didn’t finish all of that takeout and don’t actually want to let your roomie finish it when she asks? Part of living alone is unlearning one of the golden rules that’s drilled into your head as a kid. Sometimes sharing kind of sucks. I’m not saying that in the real world you should revert to child like entitlement, but within the confines of your own apartment there is no reason you shouldn’t be a tyrannical, over indulgent beast. Lounge hard on your Lazy Boy surrounded by empty take out cartons, half drank beer bottles, and piles of laundry you’re totally gonna get around to putting away.

After all, even something as simple as sharing a fridge can be a vortex when you can’t accurately parse your shared condiment levels or depend on leftovers to actually be leftover when you get around to eating them.  When you’re at work, school or hanging out with friends it’s cool to share and be part of the team but when you’re at home trying to decompress it’s a drag to open up your snacks, TV and booze to the gaping maws of any co-habitants.

Aesthetics aren’t just for Vapor Wave anymore

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You might not think you care about aesthetics but when you have the free reign to do whatever you want without compromise you’ll naturally convert your surroundings into a reflection of who you are. Maybe that means a minimalist apartment with nothing on the walls and neutral contemporary furniture. Maybe it means psychedelic boutique finds or cocaine chic white leather couches, mirrored tables, and fluorescent lights. Whatever tickles your pickle. There’s no argument, no conversation, no compromise. Just you.

Voices Carry

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No matter how thick your walls or how big your house; privacy doesn’t really exist. When you live in close quarters with someone there is sometimes an unspoken agreement that you won’t acknowledge when you hear or see things that you shouldn’t hear or see, and that’s weird. You want to have a personal phone conversation without having to lower your voice, step outside or hide in your room. Sometimes you want to have sex without your roommate getting a real-time play by-play through the wall or your door. Maybe sometimes you want to freely have sex in your apartment where and when the mood strikes without hauling off to your bedroom.

Think about what happens the next time Kanye drops version 1.0 of an album. You’re going to want to be able to rush home and stream it on repeat as loud as you can. Otherwise how can you accurately identify all of the nuanced changes he’ll make to it in the coming weeks? But if you have to worry about offending the delicate sensibilities of a partner, roommate, or loved one with an all Yeezy dance party then you’ll be forced to bump his latest bangers via headphones. While headphones may be great for work, public transport, and teenagers, you’re an adult in your own house. You have the right to crank whatever music you want, whenever you want while singing and dancing along.

Spontaneity is awesome

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After your crew has closed down your favorite bar and is looking for a place to wind up and pass out it’s a pretty awesome feeling to be the person who can spontaneously offer up your place to hang out and crash. Or it’s a lot cooler to end a date back at your place without having some awkward roommate dodging or introduction. Your ability to entertain on a whim on your terms is as important as having all that precious alone time. If you’re trying to coordinate a healthy social life around the schedule of anyone else then you might as well just have your parents set up play dates for you. Why bother being independent, paying your own bills, and making your own way in the world if you can’t have a little fun with all that you’ve accomplished?

Reap the benefits of being master of your domain by keeping odd hours, inviting strangers over at strange times, and throwing impromptu game nights together at a moments notice. You’ll never have to worry about your social plans being hampered by someone having to study or get up early.

The real takeaway for all of this is that living on your own should be an exciting adventure not a set of rules and expectations set up by committee. You might have to pay a little more for rent and learn to be a lot more self-sufficient but the rewards you reap for that extra level of responsibility deliver exponentially in dividends of life experience. It’s hard to say you’ve truly established yourself as an individual if you’ve never gotten to know yourself as anything other than a sidekick. Take the leap and branch out into the spin-off solo adventure that is real life.

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