I Don't Think I Could Ever Live Alone.
(It’s not that I don’t like my own company, it’s just that I feel... Weird)
As you may have figured out, I’m not Gwennan. She’s on vacation and had a call out for people to guest post on her blog. And, on the Hunger Games vibe, I volunteered, for many many reasons (that you can ask me and Interact with me if you please, via twitter or e-mail).
The main reason, above all the egotistic thing, is because I’ve identified personaly with the name of the blog and the whole proposal I’ve associated with it. I’m a twenty-something myself and cannot tell you how many meltdowns I’ve been through these past months. I’ve been on and off on jobs and life perspectives and I got to grow a lot these past years (yeah, I’m more than half-way through my twenties, sadly).
I think that, in order for you to have a better understanding of where I’m standing while I write all of this, you need to know a little bit about me and my background. I’m a brazilian journalist (by formation, since I don’t work on my field), and when I started writting this post I was working in a call-centre (because the work market here is not the best place to be, right now, especially if you are running away from the formal communication – big newspaper and/or corporations – and towards some alternative things – like, social media, my real passion – but you still have to pay the bills) who moved out of my mother’s house less than a year ago for the second-but- kind-of- first-time (story to follow).
I lived in my mom’s house all the way through my university graduation, which can be a little strange for you, reader. I went to a private university, and, differently from other countries, it doesn’t necessarily mean a better education. Actually, it’s kind of the opposite: in Brazil, most of the best universities are public, meanwhile the private ones are considered “not so good”. I studied in the exact same city as my mother lived (and I’ve been living there for two years when I started this part of my education).
So, yeah, I spent my four years living at my mom’s house. And then I graduated and had no freaking idea of what I was going to do with my life. Genious idea: let’s not stop studying and find something nice to do. I decided to live abroad, to “perfect my english” (which, as you may have understood or guessed by my not so great english, isn’t my original language) and to get to know other cultures and stuff. That way, I spent six months living in the US (and here is where things get interesting).
I’ve never (ever ever ever) been out of Brazil before. Even though I was well-adjusted to the whole moving thing (hahaha), it was a brand new experience. This time it was only me. Me, myself and I, going in a completely new journey, on another country, with a different language, everything changing! Oh, I think I forgot to mention something: I am an only child.
So, for the first time ever, not only was I going to live out of “my” house, but also was about to share a room with people. Unknown people. People who would definitely have different cultural backgrounds than mine. And it was... nice!
My first experience was sharing a room with two Chinese girls at the dorms. We shared space, but which one had her own bed, study table and a share at the closet. We shared the bathroom space and schedule. But it was only for a month. After this month, and after my contract to live at the dorm ended, I went (in a desperate move) to live in a “family” house. An ‘american family’ house. And, even though I had a lot of freedom to do my stuff, I always felt like a guest. I had a little bit of trouble getting around to cook or to do my laundry – even when it didn’t show because, you know, I can casually just walk around like a hobo and not care even a single bit. But, then, I finished my classes early. Two whole months before expected. Would I come back early to Brazil? No, sir. My brilliant idea was to take a trip. A whole month traveling around, partially alone.
I left Thousand Oaks, a small town on Southern California, and had four stops: San Francisco, where I’d meet my cousin who was working there as an au pair; New York, where I’d meet my best friend, who was taking this trip just to meet me; Orlando, where I’d be the best child in the world and pose alongside with Disney characters; and Los Angeles, where my trip would come with an end the best possible way: in a Sara Bareilles’ concert (I love her! Love love love!).
This journey, actually, made me realise a lot of things, like the subtitle to this post. I can spend time all by myself, I am comfortable in my own skin and able to have a great time alone. And sometimes I even crave it. Sometimes I love the freedom of not having to adjust my plans to fit along with someone else’s. Exhibit A: when I arrived in Orlando, I’ve planned to start my park- hop the next day. But I had a crappy night, thanks to the Russian girl who was sharing the room with me at the hostel, and suddenly my plan was just to chill out. I did my laundry, went shopping, and had a chill day. If I was travelling with someone else, it would have been a little bit harder – someone would have to cave in order for the plans to be changed. Exhibit B: before I got to Los Angeles, I’ve made reservations to stay at PodShare, which I loved since the first day I’ve saw something about, and even though I had this amazing city that I could explore (once again), I just decided to stay in. To relax. To chill out, watch Netflix and Hulu and eat something great. I had the freedom to follow my own pace, with no obligations!
Well, the trip finished, my abroad experience came to an end, and I came back to Brazil, to my mother’s home, once again. Fast forward to last year, when me and my girlfriend of less than a year-and- a-half decided to move out to our apartment. And we did it! We’ve been living together since august 15’ and it’s been great.
There’s freedom, there’s company, there’s everything you wish you have in a home. And we have each other (and, whenever we don’t feel like having each other, we have our free time). The main point, for me, is that I have someone else to talk to, someone to keep me company, with whom I can vent about a crappy day or share a bash of fresh baked cookies just because I’m feeling a little down. I think that, even though I can spend time alone, all by myself (which, I have to confess, almost always end up with me talking to the appliances like a crazy person), I don’t want to. I don’t like to live alone!
Living together, be it on a romantic relationship or in a friendship, isn’t easy. But, for me, is better than the alternative.
Liz Mendes is a Brazilian journalist-by- formation-social- media-by- heart that currently works with e-commerce. She is, also, half of the GurmeDiCasa project, where she bakes delicious things, do the social media and laughs quite too much. You can follow her adventures on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or her blog (and if you really liked her you can subscribe to her newsletter). Reach out to her if you want to talk about life or whatever you are into, right now.
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