Here’s the thing, there’s many benefits to living alone. Chief among them? Not having to deal with roommates.
I lived with roommates during college and for a couple years post-graduation. The results got progressively worse each time. By my third roommate, after graduating, we barely spoke unless there was an issue or a bill needed to paid. Even when I would have a party or friends over, he would just stay in his room – which, of course, would result in my friends feeling awkward and occasionally knocking on his door to see if he wanted to join in the festivities.
Let’s be honest, for most things it’s just easier to live alone (if you can afford it). Occasionally, you might need help with moving something in the apartment were a roommate would come in handy… but those times are far and few between.
However, when you are in lockdown for three months and not really allowed to leave, living alone kind of sucks. It’s like “Groundhog Day,” especially when you live in an apartment in the city. Should I lay in bed, or walk the five feet to the living room and lay on the couch for the remainder of the day? These are life’s big decisions when you’re in a 600 sq. foot apartment. Occasionally you might get wild and decide to sit on the love seat.
Don’t even get me started about hygiene. I mean, there’s no one left to try to impress – or offend – so showering becomes more of a judgement call. Do you have that not so fresh feeling? Well, it might be time to shower. If not, you can probably go another day or two. Although recently I have found that showering does help me feel better about myself. I guess marinating in your own stink until you feel like the Trash Heap from “Fraggle Rock” isn’t necessarily the best for your self-worth.
Granted, being alone also means that you don’t have to ever put pants on. Wandering around the apartment in whatever state of dress is kind of freeing. Since all of this started, I’ve only gotten dressed in real clothes once, and that was because I had to go to the bank and a few errands on a chilly day. Sweats and comfy clothes would have been fine, but it was just easier. Once it gets warmer you best believe that I’m going to be Winnie-the-Poohing it around the apartment.
The one thing you lose by living along, though, is human interaction. I’m talking about real, meaningful in-person interactions; not the two-minute transactional ones you have at the grocery store while checking out. Last week, I was in horrid mood for some reason and I finally hit my breaking point, so I told my boss that I was going to sign-off for a little while that afternoon and I ended up going for a long walk. On the way home I ran into a co-worker that I hadn’t seen since we shut down and we were able to catch up on the street for a few minutes. Between the walk and that run in, I came back a new man.
While being home without others, you are left with nothing but your own thoughts. This leaves you with 24 hours each day to evaluate every life choice that you’ve ever made. For someone who has anxiety, this is pretty much a never ending exercise in second guessing all of your decisions leading up to this point. If I could burn calories for how much my mind has been racing over the last few months I would have the most defined six pack abs ever!
You may be asking why don’t I Zoom or Facetime with people, and I do! But it’s not the same. Is talking on the phone the same as seeing that person two feet away from you? Is talking to your prison bride through glass the same thing as being able to touch them during the conversation. At best it’s a band aid for a few minutes and at worst serves as a reminder of what you are missing out on.
While I feel for all of the parents trapped at home with their children (truly, I hear from my brother how he looks for any reason to escape the house to get some time away from his 3-year-olds), this isn’t easy on anyone. But be grateful that you have people around you to help keep you sane. And maybe check on your friends who don’t belong to a pod to make sure that they are doing okay. Quite frankly, we are being left to our own devices and that can lead to some scary results. It led me to impulse buy a drum set afterall…
Let’s just hope that it isn’t too much longer before we are able to get back to normal. And let’s all agree that what happened during quarantine stays in quarantine, okay?
Padraic Maroney hails from upstate New York, suffering from middle child syndrome. His writing career began after moving to the Philadelphia suburbs while in high school. He wrote for The Bucks County Courier Times’ Reality section, written by local teenagers, and has the distinction of writing a weekly gossip column for a college newspaper at a school he didn’t even attend! His love of pop culture led him to intern at Teen People, where he met Janis Gaudelli, and realized he could turn being a millennial into a career. Since then he’s alternated between writing and marketing, but always focused on Millennials and everything they bring to the table. Padraic is a lover of shenanigans, 80s music, and the movie “Scream.”
You can follow his additional adventures on Instagram: @padraicjacob