In some respects I could be regarded as a person who has been independent for a long time. I moved away from my parents’ house when I was 16 and went to boarding school in Edinburgh for 2 years before returning to Inverness to live in my first flatshare. After that I went to university in Newcastle, then Edinburgh where I met and moved in with my ex-husband. I got my degree, my marriage certificate and my post-grad, got divorced, got my heart broken and moved to Berlin, all by the time I was 26.
You can, and probably have, looked at that in one of two ways:
a) I’ve done alot of stuff quite quickly
b) I’ve fucked up alot of stuff quite quickly
The one thing I hadn’t done thus far was lived alone. I’ve lived in a boarding school, university accomodation, flatshares and a marital home, but this is my first, official home of my own.
Ok, I don’t own it. And, ok, none of the furniture or contents actually belong to me. But, I pay the rent and the bills by myself and when the heating fucks up I’m the one who has to deal with it. In German.
When my ex and I split up I never wanted to live with any random people again. A co-habitation relationship is one thing, iI miss alot of stuff about that, but a flatshare is different – I hate other people’s dishes, and hearing the sound of the key in the lock when you’re having a cosy night in on the sofa. I hate noticing somebody finished the last of the milk and didn’t buy any to replace it. I hate coming home to questions about where I’ve been, who I was with and lengthy stories about somebody else’s crappy day. I also hate the subtle or not so subtle judgement of flatmates about the fact that maybe I chose not to leave my room all day, or I’ve just eaten nutella on bread for dinner AGAIN.
Living alone offers a really liberating opportunity to do exactly what the fuck I like for a change, even if it’s only within these 52 square meters. And if somebody finished the milk I can only be so pissed off, because it was definitely me.
Of course, there are things I miss about living with somebody else, like watching TV with somebody or having somebody right there to share your day’s stories with, but I’ve had that for 26 years and the pay off of true independence is worth a little bit of loneliness from time to time.
So, I’m off to sit around in my pants and eat Nutella from the spoon.
Later, suckers 😉