After four long years of sharing apartments with friends, I finally have one of my own. Let me say this right at the onset, I’ve had the best flatmates anyone could ever ask for. In four years, I never had a single misunderstanding, no stacks of outstanding bills and definitely no invasion of privacy. In fact, I had quite the opposite; I had flatmates who cooked for me, paid bills promptly, joined me in some crazy misadventures and made our quirky rooms a quiet place where I could relax, unwind and be.
That being said, I’ve always longed for a place to call my own. Now, I’ve finally moved into an apartment and I find that I’m genuinely at peace. I love coming home and knowing that I’m back in my cocoon and that for the next few hours I can do anything I please. Even as a young child, I played by myself for hours at a time, listening to my music, drawing, reading everything from the latest Perry Mason novel I could lay my hands on to the trashy new tabloid that I picked up on the way back from school or college. You see, I love my own company. I don’t mean that I’m anti-social or anything, all I’m saying is that after a day of work, or a long day out with friends, I really do look forward to being by myself. It energizes me. It relaxes me. It makes me happy.
Over the years, many of my married friends have talked about my life filled with freedom and independence. Yes, I can come and go as I please and I can even create a Mount Everest of laundry until Sir Edmund Hillary himself would have to cart it to the washing machine, I sometimes even resort to lying in bed all weekend. But that’s not really why living alone is so important to me. Living independently (even if briefly) is so liberating, in so many ways. I won’t dwell on that thought, I’m sure you’ll understand exactly what I mean. It’s probably one of the best things that can happen to an individual.
Suddenly, there’s this deep contentment of turning the key in the front door every evening, closing it behind, pouring a glass of wine and settling down to watch a favourite movie, read a book or just mindlessly surf T.V channels. There’s a calm, a tranquil satisfaction in knowing that however busy and actively involved I may have to be all day, I’m free to enjoy my own company and my own space in a way that makes me happy.
My parents always made sure that our home was the nurturing nest it’s supposed to be. Right through my childhood I enjoyed being at home. In fact it was my parents really who taught me the value of coming home to a happy environment and the pleasure to be gained from coming back to a space of calm, a restful space that was left undisturbed – waiting to nurture us – since we last closed the door on it.
It’s a very simple pleasure, really. But a very real one; and I love it!