As if there haven’t been enough twists and turns in my 4-month experience living in the big city, there’s been another one. A big one.
Let me start by backtracking. I have always been a pretty dependent person. And let me tell you, as a 20-something-year-old female, that is a very unattractive quality. Before I moved up here, I had just gotten out of a serious relationship. I’ve always been a relationship person. But after I got my heart ripped out of my chest and shattered to pieces, I thought I was completely lost. Don’t worry, I’m not asking for a pity party… OK, maybe a little.
After scoring the perfect job and finally finding an apartment with my friend I had known for a while, this was the perfect change I needed. I was about to move to a brand new city and have a fresh start to my big-girl life. What could possibly go wrong?
“Alex, I’m moving out.”
At this point, I was so impatiently waiting for Ashton Kutcher to pop out from behind the corner and say, GOTCHA!
But no, she was 100% serious, and I was 100% devastated. I wasn’t used to being completely 100% by myself. What was I going to do with myself? Was it even possible to entertain myself every single day?
This is when things changed. And somewhere deep deeeeeep down, I found this experience to be the biggest blessing in disguise.
I will start by saying this: I, Alex Thielen, am FUN.
After whining, crying and complaining to my mother or anybody else I could easily reach within minutes (see, told you I was dependent), I decided I needed to hike up my big-girl panties and learn to live on my own. Plus, I decided to actually listen to people when they say, “You can’t love anyone until you learn to love yourself.” How horrible could I possibly be?
In order to clear my mind and not feel like a total wreck, I started taking weekly trips to the hospital to pick up some medicine… and by hospital, I mean Sprinkles Cupcakes. Trust me, they can cure ANYTHING. Next, I started by making my apartment an appealing place to come home to, because, let’s face it: Who wants to come home to a dirty house? So I cleaned. And cleaned. And cleaned. And I NEVER clean. I am a new woman, ladies and gentlemen.
Then, I decided to put my TRUE talents to use… by practicing my singing skills. I knew that would make me laugh… I just couldn’t take myself seriously. But to be honest, these genuine laughs were the medicine I needed. Before I recently found out that these doors in my complex are anything but soundproof (thanks to the Hispanic couple yelling at each other down the hall), I decided to belt out my favorite songs as if I were actually a decent singer… Even my own ears started bleeding.
Another night, I decided to learn the “Cups” song from the movie Pitch Perfect (singing, cupping and all). Hours after I successfully mastered the art of flipping a cup upside down in an surprisingly catchy rhythm, I felt like I could rule the world. And since there was nobody there to high-five me for my outstanding accomplishment, I decided to record myself and post it on social media, so that everyone COULD see what I had achieved.
As if I couldn’t dig up anything else ridiculous to do with myself, I decided I needed some exercise. Beacause, as Elle Woods would say: “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands.” …Or their ex-boyfriends for that matter. Thanks to YouTube, I leaned some of the line dances I had been dying to master whenever I go to country bars. I have also put my Dance With Julianne Hough DVD to good use by learning some over-the-top skanky (but total fat-burning) dances.
*Side note: If a bystanders were to watch me on a nightly basis, I can’t decide if they would find me completely entertaining or completely insane.
It’s safe to say that after living by myself for three months now, I have truly learned to enjoy spending time with me. So much, that when my LA friends ask me to hang out, I actually feel bad that I have to cancel plans with myself. That’s when you know you’ve made it, right?
I won’t try to sugarcoat it, so I will admit that it did take a while for me to actually become content with having nobody else around. However, I have never felt more whole and more loved in my entire life. I have truly enjoyed going into work and seeing my coworkers. I have used up every minute of my weekends to see as many friends and spend as much time with family as I possibly can. I wouldn’t change anything that has happened for anything. I have learned more about myself and what I want and deserve than I ever could have. I have learned to laugh at myself, but most importantly, I have also learned to love myself.
“Your 20’s are your ‘selfish’ years. It’s a decade to immerse yourself in every single thing possible. Be selfish with your time, and all the aspects of you. Tinker with shit, travel, explore, love a lot, love a little, and never touch the ground.”
I could not agree with this quote more. In order to be completely happy with yourself, it is so important for everyone to go through a period in their twenties where they are completely alone.
I dedicate this post to EVERY SINGLE person who has pushed me, cried with me, laughed with me and consoled me through this crazy time in my life. You all know who you are.
Lesson of the day: Don’t eat hot Mac and Cheese while wearing only a bra and underwear. If you spill, it will KILL.
Alright, fine… Real lesson of the day: Although I may be “alone,” I will NEVER be alone.