I woke up this morning to the clattering of water drops on the lid of my laptop, which had been placed safely, or so I thought last night, on top of my bedside table. Normally it sleeps on the pillow beside me, so I really thought I had my shit together when I had the presence of mind to put it elsewhere before falling asleep last night.
It took my a few seconds to register that the sound I was hearing was, in fact, the sound of rain drops hitting the aluminium case of my MacBook Pro. My first thought was that my phone, which I have a terrible habit of leaving to charge overnight, was finally ready to explode. It was early (8:30), and I was inside after all, and to my sleep addled brain it sounded more like a crackling than a clattering at first. Rain was the last thing on my mind, unless you count how happy I was when I woke up at 7:00am and relished the feeling of a rainy Sunday morning in bed before going back to sleep. The rain was outside at that point, I was safe from it.
When I finally did realise it was the sound of my Mac being drowned, I moved faster than I had since I last spilled tea on it in October (I’m not allowed drinks near it now; after spilling tea on the keyboard twice in a two month period and having it miraculously recover after a night spent upside down in the hot press both times, I decided it was time to be strict with myself).
It survived (obviously, since I’m typing on it), it probably wouldn’t have if I’d left it open like I normally do, and thankfully it’s not a burst pipe. My apartment is on the top floor and I’m the victim of a blocked gutter and some heavy rainfall on the roof. The only surprising thing is that this hasn’t happened sooner, seeing as I live in Northern Ireland and rain is the norm here. It’s been an oddly dry summer though. When I say dry, I mean sunny spells interspersed with a lot of cloud and light rain.
My building management is pretty good and had someone out in less than an hour to look at it. So I now have a leaky bedroom roof that won’t be fixed until tomorrow and a bucket perched precariously on my bedside table, slowly filling with water. This is accompanied by a teeny hole my building handyman poked in the ceiling to give the water somewhere to come out. Oh joy. I’m definitely not going to imagine someone watching me at night through that pit of darkness above my bed.
It’s got me thinking about all the things that can happen when you live alone though, and the result is this list.
- You are in charge of everything, bills, accounts, cleaning schedules, and it’s pretty freaking liberating not having to negotiate these things with other people, who might not appreciate being called disgusting slobs when they leave leftover food out on the kitchen counter overnight. And when you happen to do that, it’s not so bad, because one disgusting slob is a lot easier to deal with than a whole household of them.
- You are in charge of everything, including phone calls to the broadband people, the tv people, the gas and electricity people. Broadband order fucks up? You have to call. Ceiling starts to leak? You have to call. Lock yourself out or lose your keys? Your building manager is your new bestie.
- It’s quiet, like really quiet. The type of quiet that is either the sweetest thing in the world or drives you to turn on the radio (or, you know, actually invest in one).
- The fridge becomes 10 million times more easy to manage than when you had housemates. Now that everything in it is yours, you can organise it and empty it out as you please. No more carefully checking a packet of raw chicken while holding your breath, unsure if it’s yours or the one Suzie-May bought three months ago when she had a craving for fajitas.
- You get things done. Now that you don’t have housemates to work around and distract you with tea and gossip, it’s a lot easier to just clean the bathroom, sweep the floors and put away the dishes. It also takes a lot less time because it’s just you.
- You get a bit lonely sometimes. Especially if you’re used to having people around.
- So you get more social. Now that you don’t have built in friends you start to make plans more: whether it be meeting someone for a coffee, the cinema, or the gym, inviting someone over for a cuppa, or making more of an effort to call people.
- You can walk around in your underwear, or even naked, as often as you like. This is completely liberating, especially when you’re getting ready to go somewhere and realise that you need something from another room.
- Things tend not to get lost as easily, but when they do, you immediately assume it’s either a burglar or a ghost…alright, you immediately assume ghost, closely followed by a burglar, distant third is that you left it lying somewhere you don’t usually leave it (or the ghost did).
- Watching horror films alone takes on an entirely new meaning.
- You get super curious about your neighbours. What are they like? What are their apartments like? Will you be friends or will they throw parties where they play terrible music and you pray for the day they move out/are evicted?
- You miss having people around 24/7 who you can dissect your night out /hangover/latest date with.
- You can rearrange the furniture whenever you like and no one will bitch at you for it.
- No one will be there to admire your furniture rearranging genius.
- You get reaaaaally excited about guests. Like buy fresh flowers, stock up on booze and treats and fruit excited.
- Strange sounds in the night will freak you out a heck of a lot more than they ever did before.
- You start to seriously nest. Your Pinterest boards explode with home decor inspiration and it’s only a matter of time before you decide the walls need a fresh lick of paint (Annie Sloan Chalk Paint to be precise).
- You have a lot more time to read. Instead of chatting with the girls pre-bedtime, you have a dedicated bedside table book that you pick up for 20-30 minutes before you fall asleep each night.
- You worry about what would happen if you fellin the bath, like, how would anyone even find you?
- You feel periods of smug glowyness because you’re independent and financially stable enough to live alone, interspersed with terror at the fact that you live alone and oh my god, what if you lose your job and become destitute and have to move back home with your parents?
- You dance. A lot. And it’s pretty liberating.
- You tend to start to tackle every difficult situation with a deep breath and a pep talk. You got this.
Seriously guys. We got this.