I really never thought I would make it a full year on my own in The Treehouse. Ever since I was a kid, I lived in a space with either family, at least one roommate, or a significant other. Last year, when Ryan and I broke up and I was thrown into this new life of a single girl, I was sitting on my couch crunching numbers of being able to afford my lifestyle on one income. What I found was my budding career and my desk job was just not going to support me. I had a panic attack. I think I burst into tears daily for about a week because I felt so overwhelmed with the idea that I was A) Going to be absolutely alone in my house for the first time and B) The bills would continue to pile up regardless of whether or not I could pay them.
Probably around day 3 of being alone, I considered getting a roommate. There seemed to be quite a few college to mid twenties ladies out there looking for a place to live on the cheap, just like me. But a miracle occurred: I got stubborn. This stubborness bloomed from me really not wanting to share half my house with anyone. For 3 years, I had picked up after a man at some point. I had to butt heads over who paid for what and when. Usually allergies were involved in the crumbling of the happy home and they couldn’t handle Maddie. Not to mention every single time I wanted to change something in my house, I had to submit it to “the board” AKA my sig other who usually shot the idea down. So the stubborness begot braveness and I stuck with it.
I went out less, shopped less, and figured out creative ways to make ends meet without taking a huge hit on my lifestyle. I budgeted more, saved more to make sure I was covered for the hard times, and when I did actually have some money, I spent it on myself and the house. Being “single”was awesome!
I was worried about my late night anxiety attacks returning once I had no one to curl up with and talk to. Somehow though, they have been put to rest and I have not had a genuine attack in well over a year.
I know I have grown up a lot in the past year. I have learned a lot about myself and what I am capable of. If my house or life presented a challenge, I stood up to it.
- Where I’ve Triumphed: I have a bit of a bug problem in the house. I honestly used to be terrified of bugs but I have gotten really jaded to them now to the point that I don’t even jump when one pops out from behind the fridge. I simply grab the Raid or sometimes my shoe and go medieval on that son of a gun.
- Where I Could Do Better: Just put my big girl pants on and hire an exterminator so I don’t have to reach for the Raid as much. I can afford that now.
- Where I’ve Triumphed: It was nice having a man around the house for the fixes. But it became apparent that I was going to have to handle some things immediately and couldn’t wait around. So I got my hands dirty. A lot.
- Where I Could Do Better: Take a basic home repair class at Home Depot. I still don’t know how to handle small leaks in my house.
- Where I’ve Triumphed: I did not have to sell my soul to a loan shark nor did I go over my head in debt. I only had to pull from my emergency fund for a few months but I have been replenishing it ever since my business started picking up.
- Where I Could Do Better: Save more money. Simple as that. Oh, and pay off all my credit card debt and just use cash.
- Where I’ve Triumphed: I am slowly becoming a more fun and sociable person. I actually enjoy going out and meeting new people. I used to have a little bit of fear when it came to introducing myself to and chatting up total strangers. But being lonely, a realtor, and an overall friendly person worked against it. Now I know some amazing people who I consider family and closer to me than many friendships I cultivated for years!
- Where I Could Do Better: Make time for my old friendships. I know life is way too short to leave a true friend behind just because life is too busy.
It’s been a fantastic year, though. I don’t think I would recognize myself if I were capable of jumping ahead one year. I am not totally there yet, I am still learning but I am finding that I am staying away from the things that would trigger me to fall back into the person I used to be. Not that she was a bad person, but the 24 year old version of myself just had a lot more to learn than I do now. It’s going to be amusing to see how I turn out this time next year.