As per the request of my roommate, this week’s blog post is going to highlight an action that has defined my last few weeks:
Along with graduating college (mentioned here), starting a new job and buying my first car, I took yet another step into adulthood by getting an apartment of my own and finally, after 21 and a half years, moving out of my childhood home.
Granted, 40 minutes isn’t that far away, but living independently is definitely a different experience.
So let’s talk about it!
One of the main changes is the independence.
I have no one to answer to. I have no one telling me no or asking me to do things. I have a roommate, yes, and she is fantastic, but that relationship is much different. I go to bed as early or late as I want. (Usually early.) I decide what needs to get done and when I do it. I can be as involved in the community as I want to be. And it’s wonderful.
But with that independence comes something else:
I have no one to answer to. My roommate (who just so happens to be my best friend) and I have different schedules. She’s still in school and between class, writing and work, I may go a day or so hardly seeing her. And she doesn’t answer to me, either. So when she’s out and about, I find a little hole in my heart that wasn’t there before.
You see, I’m an extrovert. I get my energy from others and I’m a verbal processor. I thrive off conversation and discussion. But I currently work from home and have the apartment to myself for a majority of the day. It’s quiet. Because I’m new to the area, I don’t know my neighbors yet, and I’m unsure about community events. I have a few friends around, but we’ve all got different lives and schedules.
And here’s the thing:
It’s not their job to fill me.
Through this big move and through a lot of thinking, I’ve realized that I can’t just sit around and wait for people to fill my social need. If my roommate is gone, I shouldn’t just mope around until she gets back. Though I miss her, it’s not her job to wait on me hand and foot. Instead, I should seek out other ways to fill my social need.
There’s a park a few blocks away. I can bike down there and read. There’s a library a half a mile away. I can go there to write. I can also walk around the shopping center on the corner. There is no need for me to isolate myself or just sit around at home. I have the luxury to be able to go elsewhere. I need to do it.
Sure, it can get lonely at times. But that’s a temporary problem, and the fix is simple.
So, if independence comes with loneliness, I’ll take it. Because it means growth.
Second big change: the motivation.
When I was living at home, I found the lack of motivation a common occurrence. Not that home was necessarily to blame, but I had an established routine and the space was crowded with memories and old habits. Moving out and grounding myself in a new space as given me the chance to start over, and man has it been different.
You can only grow so much in one space.
I cooked a real breakfast the other day. I hardly ever ate breakfast when I was at home. I just didn’t have the desire to or feel the need to. But I’ve got a kitchen of my own and my own groceries, and I can cook what I want! So I spent some time and made a decent meal.
And the best part about it? I enjoyed it! It was fun, easy, and it brought me satisfaction. Almost an encouragement to myself:
You’re motivated. You’re skilled. You’re healthy. You’re an adult.
Now, I don’t cook like this everyday. Some days I’ll just cook a frozen meal while my roommate yeets two hotdogs into the microwave, protected by nothing but a rolled up paper towel. But that’s okay! Something I learned about being an adult is that it’s okay to be flexible. Some days you’re busy, and a handful of pretzels is what you’ve got. Other days, you just don’t feel like cooking. (That’s when leftovers are a great idea.) That’s alright. People are allowed to have messy days.
I also made a LEGIT chicken salad for dinner the other day, and I wanted to show that off, too. (See cover photo.)
Outside of cooking and food, I have also noticed a shift in motivation regarding other things, as well. Like writing. I’ve been itching to work on blog posts and eager to add more to my novel. I wake up with more energy, energy I never had at home.
It’s crazy what a change of scenery can do!
I find I’m generally happier and I have more zest for life, because life is new and exciting.
Last big switch: freedom.
Mong out has granted me freedom. The freedom to become who I want to be, separate from past mistakes, habits, or family influence. I can take all that I’ve learned and all that I’ve become in the past twenty-one years, and I get to decide what I want to do with that. I decide who Kim is, and I love that.
It’s completely and utterly terrifying, don’t get me wrong.
But I’m excited for the freedom that comes with stretching your wings, testing the waters and shattering your comfort zone.
So, I wrestle the loneliness. I make fancy dinners and do the dishes. I go on bike rides to the library and work on my blog and novel.
And I decide who I want to be.
Do you notice shifts in your motivation? What can you change about your current situation to help it feel new?