Goodness, was it really April when I last wrote a blog post? I really have been neglecting this blog, but there are several reasons I haven’t felt able to write, some of which I may write about in the future. For the moment though I will just concentrate on one of the more exciting things: I have, once again, moved house.
It’s been a funny old year living in Bath, with 3 addresses and two jobs to my name. My last move was once again out of necessity, and possibly the best decision I’ve made. For I now have my very own flat. However, there are certainly some pros and cons to this living alone business, and I’ve listed some of them below.
Pro: You get to do what you want, when you want and nobody cares.
This is by far the best thing about living by yourself: the freedom! Want a shower at midnight? Go for it. Want to spend your evening eating a ready meal in front of bake off? That’s all fine. Want to make jam at 10pm because your blackberries look like they might go mouldy? Not a problem (also, true story). When there’s nobody else in the your residence then you can’t be judged for what you do and nothing you do can annoy anybody else (apart from your neighbours if you live in a flat like I do). It’s fantastic.
Con: It’s really, really expensive.
Anybody who follows me on social media will know this one was coming, but even though I knew living alone would be expensive, I wasn’t quite prepared for it to be this expensive. Part of the issue for me is living in an expensive place; if we imagine the west of England to be London, then Bath is basically Kensington or somewhere expensive like that (Stokes Croft in Bristol is Hackney, obviously). Add to the rent all bills, including internet and expensive “economy” 7 electricity and you could quite easily get yourself in a pickle. I’ve tried to cut down my bills by shopping around for the best internet deal and paying everything by monthly direct debit. I also switch absolutely everything off at the switches when I’m not using it. Somehow, though, I’ve still managed to leave my main light on whilst I was at work…
Pro: You only have to tidy up your own mess
Something about having your own space means you feel more obliged to keep it tidy, even though oddly people are less likely to see it. I suppose that if you know that your washing up will stay washed up and that nobody’s going to leave tomato soup all over a surface you’ve just wiped it’s not such a losing battle. It’s almost like in the 2 weeks I’ve lived here I’ve developed less tolerance for mess. I even spent my Friday night hoovering… But it’s nice to feel proud of your own space.
Con: Everything falls to you.
You do have to sort out everything yourself, but actually that’s not really a con, it’s just part of being a grown up.
Pro: The aloneness
I can’t describe how amazing it is to only see people when I want to see them. I’m a bit of an introvert and I just don’t always want to be dealing with people. In my old house I couldn’t even sit in my own living room, here I can be anywhere in the house with no fear of awkward conversations or being told off for something ridiculous. You also never have to listen to people’s disgusting bathroom habits. It does mean you have to make an effort to either invite people to your house or go out to see people, which leads me to my last con:
Con: The loneliness
I have to say, so far this hasn’t been much of a problem for me, as I see people at work and see my boyfriend at weekends, but I fear (as I do with many things) that my social anxiety will mean I end up shutting myself off from people. I don’t think living alone is inherently a lonely thing, but you have to see people. In my former houses I was lonely because often the people I lived with weren’t friendly. When I worked at the outdoor centre I almost longed to feel lonely because of the 9 other people I lived with. But I see this flat as a fresh start, and a way to build up my social life in Bath. I’ve been here a year and I’ve made some headway, it’s just a case of knowing where to go next, and also completely changing my attitude towards contacting people. I think my first step will be a housewarming as I’ve never hosted my own party before, not even at university.
Overall this has been an overwhelmingly positive move, and once I get used to having a little less money I’m sure I will be absolutely fine. I love my flat and I feel far more relaxed since I’ve moved to it. Here’s to starting afresh; same place, new job, new flat, better life.