Finally, after over a year of wishing to live alone, here I am. I finally got what I wanted and all of a sudden, it seemed like I had all this time on my hands and nothing to do with that time but wonder if I made the right decision. What if I choke on my dinner and die? How long will it take for them to find my body? Which brings me to rule number 1; do NOT overthink it! Your mind will go to very strange places!
There I was, at Joburg Zoo thinking out loud to two married-with-kids colleagues and one of them finally cuts me short and says, "You singles irritate me! You're young. You have no responsibilities but yourselves but what do you do on Friday nights? Sit at home doing absolutely nothing! Go out! Have a little fun, for goodness sake! You're gonna want these days back when they're gone!" This brings me to rule number 2; don't stay cooped up at home. Going out - even if it's just to gym or staying a bit longer at work - makes you appreciate coming home to the serenity of an empty house.
I spent one Sunday afternoon waiting for my brother to fetch his couch. I nearly burst into tears when he didn't show up. Who was I gonna talk to? My hard drive provides the illusion of interaction, but those people are interacting with each other, not me! Rule number 3; when you are home, don't be too idle. There is plenty to do.Your dishes (I'm sure you have them in the sink!), do your laundry. It wasn't just piling up with ex housemate's clothes, you know! Clean your floor! Whites are not the only ones who shed hair! And cook for yourself for crying out loud! There's no harm in learning to cook smaller portions.
Speaking of watching others interact, rule number 4 - sometimes the silence is good. It's an opportunity to read a book, write and think about your life. You'd really be surprised how much there is to think about and plan for. True story!
So far, these rules have helped me through the first month of single living. It was hard at first and I still have days when I throw them out the window, curl into a ball and feel sorry for myself, but slowly the silence doesn't seem so loud anymore and I've realised that this living alone business, it's not bad and it can only get better from here.