I've never lived alone before.
No, stop staring at me like that -- I swear, I have good reasons. I got pregnant and waddled from an apartment I shared with my ex back to the house I lived in with my parents so that I could go to nursing school and get a job that pays more than "do you want fries with that?"
Then, I met and married my husband shortly after graduation, when we bought a condo together. So in all those years, I was always living with someone.
But in July, we decided to divorce after nearly 10 years of marriage and I moved into my own place. Which means that I'm in the process of learning how to live on my own. I couldn't be happier, but it's hard to get used to sometimes. Here's how I'm learning to live alone after my divorce.
1) Get thee a tool box. One thing everyone needs when they find themselves living alone again is a tool box with all the basics to fix things around the house. Then ask everyone you know if they have any duplicate tools they can donate. Make sure to get a book on simple home repairs, too.
2) Get an AAA membership. I'm a car fiend, but I know very little about fixing them. So instead of finding yourself stranded in the middle of nowhere with no one to call, get an AAA membership and they'll come help you.
3) Reach out to friends and family. Make sure that people know you're learning to live alone again and that you're really feeling it. Divorce is a terribly lonely process and having people around who know you're hurting is never a bad idea.
4) Write it out. When you're feeling blue, write it out. Write about the divorce and what you're going through. Doesn't matter if you do it in a blog or in a journal. Just let it out.
5) Make a list of all of the things you want to do. Start small -- maybe you want to get some wall art of your own. Or maybe it's painting a room or taking a trip. But make a long list, put everything down that you've not done (and want to) and begin to complete it.
6) Use this as an opportunity to purge. Not just your stuff, mind you, but your head and your heart. Dump the friends who make you feel like crap and move forward.
7) Seek help. If you're not coping well with the divorce, don't hesitate to find a therapist who specializes in divorce situations to guide you through this hard time.
8) Set up weekly "dates" with friends and family so you have something to look forward to. Doesn't have to be anything fancier than movie night, but it helps to have something positive to focus on.
9) Remember, above all else, that this is your life and you alone dictate how you spend it.
10) Get involved with all those things you had to put aside during your marriage. Maybe it's something as silly as getting green pepper on your pizza, but do it because now you can. No one will stop you.
What would you tell someone learning to live alone again?
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