One’s Own Home (Almost)

Next weekend I’m moving into a flat on my own; a flat with just myself for company. This will be the first time I’ve lived on my own. I’ll have a whole two rooms and a bathroom to myself! Like a real adult person and everything.

At first I was a little worried about the prospect of living on my own. What if I got lonely? What if I find that I am an annoying flatmate? Will it all feel very empty as I’m used to living in a single, cluttered room?

As the last month has passed, however, I’ve become more excited. Little things seem to be some of my primary temptations; for example, having an entire fridge to myself or the ability to read a book in the living room without interrupting someone else who is watching television. Of course, being able to roll in at 4am without worrying about waking up my flatmates is also a boon; I get paranoid about it because I sometimes get a bit grumpy if I get woken up by people coming home late at night.

Instead of worrying about the prospect of empty sterility due to the extra space to fill, I’m starting to feel the extra room will allow me to spread my things out more. I can also stamp my personality on the space I live in — which is hard to do in a shared house —, perhaps I shall even give myself the luxury of making some choice art purchases.

I’ve alleviated the worry of being lonely by choosing to live near many of my friends near to the centre of town. It seems obvious in retrospect; it should be easy to meet up with people, but with the benefit of my own space when I start to feel a little overwhelmed by everything; some calm-space.

Speaking to my friends who have lived on their own has been the primary fear-dampener. All have stated how much they enjoyed having a place to themselves, one where they didn’t have to worry about anyone else. I expect this feeling is liberating — if you want to be alone you can be, and be really alone, not just closing the door to your room but having a large space to yourself and not worrying about bumping into people when you get some water. As I shall be in a flat, of course I will not be able to shut out the world completely, but more so than I’ve been able to before. I sometimes like to be alone and quiet, it is a good de-stressing activity and allows one’s brain to slow down and do some house-keeping.

I should also get more time to read and perhaps write. I spend a lot of time talking to my flatmates — which I enjoy and shall miss — but my pile of books to read gets higher and higher; I still have several books from Christmas to read. I am looking forward to some hardcore non-fiction and novel time. It would be nice to write a little more, I feel I am getting a little out of practice. Writing about things also helps to clarify my ideas about things, to expose the points I’m unsure of and to develop others onto sounder ground.

Getting my thoughts down about the house move is the motivation for this post, I’m harbouring no illusions it is an exciting read. Why post, rather than just write? Writing for the site is much more motivational than writing just for the sake of writing, and encourages harsher editing which will improve my writing. Being able to express oneself well is a valuable skill in itself.

One decision I’ve made is, at least initially, I am not going to have a television. I only really watch a few programs, and spending a few hundred pounds for the purpose of Grand Designs and Peep Show seems a pretty dodgy cost/benefit ratio. I still have a computer and monitor, which I shall set up to allow viewing of DVDs. The cinema isn’t far from my new house, so I’m hoping to get down there more often. I’m sure it will also encourage me to be more social if I don’t have the option of numbing out in front of a television.

So, though I have some qualms, the worries are being far superseded by the novelty of living in a place of my own. Once I have things set up to my liking I might put some photos on flickr for the benefit of people curious about these things and to indulge the exhibitionist in myself.

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