Before Being in Love, Be Alone



Self-love is less about the ability to withstand loneliness or establish independence and more about awareness and acceptance of our incompleteness. It’s about letting others love us even when we feel unlovable because their version of us is often kinder than our own.” — Esther Perel

2:oo pm on a Friday holiday and it’s quiet in my house. I’ve lived alone for a while now, with the exception of pets and the one thing I’ll never do unless I’m married, is live with someone else.

This mindset came from living with a significant other for quite some time. 5 years to be exact. I did all of the cooking, cleaning, house shopping, restocking, I did all of it. All for a man who was never going to marry me.

I reframed the “I did all of this for him” mindset into a “let’s do it for myself” once I was living alone again and everything changed.

I learned to appreciate the little things

Some of my favorite things in life are the small quiet moments I get to have now that I do it for myself. Like drinking coffee on my patio while I watch my cats and my dog lay in the sun on a Tuesday morning.

I started keeping fresh flowers in the house at all times and bought plants that bring some greenery inside.

I open all the blinds as I walk through my house in the morning to let the natural light in. It’s a great feeling to be able to work to natural light and not fluorescent lights all day.

My cleaning schedule has been made easier

I have 3 pets, so the pet hair build-up in my house is intense. However, one fight that always happened was please put your dishes in the dishwasher once you’re done with them so I don’t have a ton of dishes to do tonight before I go to bed.

I no longer have this argument, or dishes in the sink and it’s a beautiful feeling.

My coffee pot is always clean and ready for use. There are no dirty socks on the floor, I can mop whenever I feel like it because I don’t have to wait until you know you’re not going get up for at least 20 minutes.

I enjoy the quiet

I don’t listen to yelling at the video game or try to sleep under my pillow through muffled fighting scenes or cop shows. Once I decide it’s time to sleep, I have nothing keeping me awake except my thoughts.

My mornings involve the pitter patter of my dog on the hardwood floor and my coffee brewing in the kitchen. I can hear the ice machine working and my neighbors getting out the door with their 4 kids.

The peacefulness I get from crickets at night with a warm cup of tea on my fur-filled couch is unmatched.

I can work where ever I want

Since Covid started, I have been working from home and when I shared that space with someone else — I was limited to one room in the house. Sure I have a studio/office now because of the nature of my full-time job. But if I want to take my laptop and work from the kitchen table I can do without someone telling me “I really shouldn’t be encroaching on their space with my work.” or “Please take that call in the other room, I can’t focus on my puzzle” or whatever his hobby of the week was.

Life has gotten so much simpler

Not in the sense of I don’t have to report to someone, more in the sense of I’m not crying over someone twice a week, or concerned about where he is at 4am since he didn’t call like he said he would.

I’m not asking someone to pick up socks or clean hair out of the bathroom sink. I could go on, but instead I’m going to go on about what I love most about being alone.

I love my own company & the company of my dog.
I love my early mornings and late nights
I love listening to podcasts at full blast without interruption
I love putting out my Christmas decorations November 1st.
I love the pitter patter of kitten feet
and the way I’m so comfortable in my own skin.
I’ve learned to dance alone in the kitchen — I love dancing.
I love the knick knacks and the coat rack and hanging my hats on the wall
My guitars are on display and the fire place is always on.

Learning to love myself and all my quirks has been a rollercoaster. But because of this, I’m truly happy. I watch re-runs of old shows I’ve already seen and work endless hours, and yet. I’m truly happy.

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