It's been three months since I took the plunge and moved to London on my own. It's been a huge life change and a lot to adjust to all at once, but it's also been the best and right decision for me. In this post I wanted to talk a little more about living alone more generally, rather than how I am finding living in London. Before I made my move, you may remember I visited LA for one week on my own - this was like my trial period. It threw me from my comfort zone, and made me realise I would be capable of living alone. It would take some getting used to, but I was able to enjoy my own company without going insane, and not jump out of my skin at every small noise in a house (which was something I was really worried about).
It also taught me that the key to adjusting was busyness, which is still something I prioritise - but it isn't sustainable forever. Since moving to London, I have massively burnt the candle at both ends, which is partly due to my intensifying work schedule but also due to living alone. Working at home for days on end, and then having evenings along is a sure way to go crazy, so it's something I have continually made effort to avoid.
I find the days on my own completely fine, the evenings can be harder. So, I try to avoid having more than three evenings in on my own. It also means that when I do have one alone, I really crave it and then enjoy it, which makes the overall experience of living along far more enjoyable. I am sure with time the ratio of those will switch - three nights in for every one night out. It's tiring managing that with work and travel, and I know with time something will click where I suddenly feel so much more comfortable to spend evenings alone without even so much as a second thought.
I don't think the amount of travel I have done this summer has gone unnoticed. From being something that I never really prioritised, to becoming one of my favourite things has been quite the shift. It's partly due to the freedom that comes with being single, but also a feeling of restlessness that I cannot shake. And I don't mean that as a negative thing at all, it's just a wanderlust that has come from realising that the moments I have been the happiest and most fulfilled are the moments I have invested in travel and experiences. It's meant that I have hardly had more than two solid weeks in London since I moved, and that's made it both easier and harder to adjust. Easier because it's not thrown me at the deep end, and I get to enjoy that coming home feeling really regularly which always serves to remind me how much I love my flat. Harder because I am not giving myself the time to settle in - but just as with spending my evenings out socialising, I am sure in the coming months I will start to prioritise being at home a little more.
Living alone has mostly been a hugely positive experience, despite the points I have raised here. It has given me a certain confidence that I am capable of constantly moving away from my comfort zone and will find a way to adapt and adjust to that. I think when you are fully comfortable on your own, you will always be your most powerful. It's something I have learnt from my Mum, and something I think of often. That level of independence means you can always go after what you want without someone else validating it. Of course the support of others is vital and is something I wouldn't live without, but I have also found that the more independent I have become, the stronger my relationships have grown too.
I am by no means perfect with this. I still go into a flat spin if someone cancels an evening plan when I have been on my own the evening before. But, despite that moment, I am always okay. I always keep busy and get into bed asking myself what all the fuss was about, which is definitely a step in the right direction. And throughout Winter I am going to force myself to settle in a little more, prioritise a few consecutive weeks at home, and embrace those long dark evenings as down time and not a time that needs filling.
If any of you are considering living alone, or are about to do it, I really do recommend it. It's been no where near as daunting as I thought it might be, and any hard moments are completely outweighed by the good. It completely makes you realise how capable you are of doing things alone, which is such an empowering feeling!