When I started on the venture of living alone, I was not sure exactly what to expect. It was with a heavy heart and a almost naive sense that I thought that being single again and living alone would be hard. But, I realize as I head to my ninth year living in Syracuse that it is all mental.
The thing is I had lived alone before and it wasn’t all that hard. But, I was like 25 and I really didn’t know any better. I was living in a basement apartment in the soundview section of The Bronx and thought that it was the greatest point in my life. I had a job and I lived alone. I could come and go as I please and had no one to answer to. The funny thing is I barely remember what I did for food everyday before I started dating. I think I had take out many many nights. Quite simply, I didn’t care. I had like two bills: rent (which was all inclusive) and cable. That was it!
Fast forward a decade and things are so much different. Juggling finances can make anyone crazy with the mortgage, car note, cable/internet, insurance, credit cards and anyone else that I happen to owe money to. I had so much fear that I would not be able to deal with just life in general. I remember sitting in my office, alone, on the verge of tears thinking “how am I going to get out of this?” I thought life cannot be all this hard. Of course it wasn’t. When people say that we all need to take things one day at a time, that is so very true. That is why I feel like this year is going by slower than years past. I have had more time to think and contemplate life.
The funny thing is that being a single man is actually not all that hard. Once I figured myself out and all the things I like and do not like about myself, everything fell into place. It allowed me to set the goals that have gotten me to this point. What I am grateful for is all the things my dad taught me when I was in high school. He was also a single man living in a house and trying to get by. While it may not have seemed that I was not paying attention to him and all the things he did or cooked, I was taking everything in while have that nonchalant teenage attitude.
My dad was the one that taught me how to live life independently. He told me that I should never assume that I would be with any one woman for the rest of my life. How could I argue with that at the time? He was divorcing my mother who was his second wife. So there were lessons on how to clean clothes and cook for myself. He is a Navy man so everything had it’s place and unfortunately I never picked up his neatness.
It was my stepmother (whom my dad was dating by the time I graduated high school) that supplied me with the “women’s touch”on things. Again, it may have seemed that I may not have been paying attention but I was. Nuances like ironing a certain way and shopping for clothes that made sense was something I got from her. Sure this was a long time ago, but when I was in my twenties, I thought I knew everything I could know about life and myself.
While I discovered, after the break up of my first love, that my dad had been right about women and life in general, it isn’t until now that I am able to really fully understand everything. I am fully self sufficient. I do not need a woman to do anything for me. I always felt bad for guys in college who couldn’t do their own laundry. I always wondered how crippling it must be if they were to lose whatever appeal they had that allowed girls to wash their clothes for them.
I can cook anything I set my mind to…which my dad told me that once I start cooking for women that I will never truly be alone (he is so right about that). I laugh because he always had an issue with the way I clean and I will tell you that I hated to do it. Now, I have two roommates and it is all I do. The funny thing is, I do not mind this. I want things in my house cleaned the way I want it to be cleaned. I was just cleaning the stove today before I made some chuletas (pork chops…don’t judge) and I smiled thinking that at one time you could not pay me enough to do this.
Now, as I set my sights to the complete my final goal of getting out of Syracuse, I find that being a single man is not hard at all. I just need to enjoy my independence.