Never Alone

The other night as I was driving Nick home, I came to a slightly startling realization. I have never lived on my own. I have never lived at a residence where I was the only and primary occupant and that I was responsible for it’s upkeep. I find that mildy unsettling. Not because I’ve desired it or because I’ve regretting with living with any of them (though there are couple roommates that I never want to see again.) It is more that I wonder if I missed that life lesson of taking care of a place and maintaining it.

On the other hand, at an early age my parents taught us so many of the chores required while living on your own like washing and folding laundry, dusting, vacuuming, washing the bathroom, buying groceries, mowing the lawn, yardwork, etc. So when I went away to college, those task were no problem while others were struggling for the first time. And it’s true that with the exception of one or two years, life was basically living alone alongside your roommates sharing the same television. Even when I moved back home, my father was home infrequently enough that I had my run of the place.

So in the end, it really is a minor thing. But still a bit odd. That said, I have no wishes for that to happen for many many many years, if ever.

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~ by Frank on July 11, 2007.

3 Responses to “Never Alone”

  1. While it is useful to know how to take care of a place on your own — paying your own bills for the first time, doing laundry if you’ve never done it, learning to do minor repairs, cooking, and taking on the responsibilities of a home and a life on your own — I think most people live on their own to become self-reliant. Independent from their parents. Learn to mature as an adult and be responsible. Get themselves to work on time. Your parents seem to have instilled all that in you as you grew up. You never seemed to me to be someone who was unsure of himself, and I mean that as a compliment. I don’t think you have missed anything, Frank, except perhaps being able to do what you want when you want to without consideration of someone else’s thoughts, plans or feelings. If you live your life without that kind of selfish accomplishment, I wouldn’t say you’ve missed anything. You’re probably all the richer in character for it.

  2. Living alone is different from living with housemates, even if you don’t do much together. I’d never thought of living alone from that perspective; it actually makes it seem rather unappealing. I am just as responsible for my bills, laundry and household tedium when I live with other people as when I lived alone. I did find, at least, that there is a delicious peacefulness living alone that has nothing to do with learning to be self-reliant. I’m from a large family (there were seven of us), so for me, solitude has always seemed precious. I’m a little regretful that I may not get to experience it again. That said, it can be lonely and not everyone likes it.

  3. Thank you both for the comments. It’s true that I did not have any trouble living away from home and have not had any problems owning and maintaining a home since I grew up doing those sorts of things.

    And I have had stints where I was the only one home for days or weeks. But it’s odd how my mind switches into a mode like kids when their parents are away every time I find myself alone. Be it at home or staying at some hotel by myself. I don’t go crazy, but I may eat all the foods I’m not supposed to and stay up watching stupid TV. It’s silly, but I wonder if this is because of never having lived on my own for a long period of time.

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