Before Zach and I got super serious, but right after we met, I moved out on my own.
Although, I had been planning to do it before I met him, I immediately knew I’d be marrying him and that lit a fire under me to get packing and out on my own.
In hindsight, I see it now as, more than anything, something to say I’d done. I had this check list of things I wanted to do before I was married. Some of those things included: go to the temple, finish school, live alone, get a job, and a few others. I felt accomplished as each item was checked off my list and I hadn’t yet met Mr. Right. (Somehow I thought that was within my power rather than realizing I would meet him when I was supposed to meet him…done with school or not…living alone or not…but that’s a post for another day).
I lived in that house alone. Sure Zach spent many nights watching movies or making out with me there. We had a rather unhealthy goal of hitting all of my little town’s mom and pop places, and we ate our way through town. We had friends over quite a bit. My mom spent some time there every once in a while. But I lived alone. (Read a little more on that here)
It’s bizarre to me because I lived in a little townhouse in a less-than-safe town, and my bedroom was upstairs with no escape if an intruder made his way in. I would always keep Zach on the phone with me when I got home, unless he was with me, while I opened every door to make sure there wasn’t someone hiding out. I’d get ready for bed–taking care to turn off all lights and anything that would make a tiny bit of noise, climb in, talk to him a little longer, and fall into a deep sleep.
I slept in the smack dab middle of my bed and took up the entire thing. I filled it with pillows, comfy blankets, and I was completely satisfied being alone at night (admittedly, over time sleeping alone became less and less appealing as I anticipated sharing that space with the future husband.)
After my first year of teaching, I took a part-time summer job. I worked 4 hours a day and spent the rest of the time alone at my townhouse. Everyone else I knew was at work during that time. I spent a lot of time reading outside on my little patio, I cleaned, organized, and joined a friend for outdoor water aerobics most nights. Zach would then come over for dinner (on the nights he didn’t have class, some nights I just made myself dinner) and then leave, I’d head to bed.
I spent lots of time alone and I was completely fine with it. I’d always thought that made me admirable. That I was somehow independent and strong because I could be alone. Not only that, but I could be alone and like it.
It’s amazing how I quickly transformed from a one-person sleeping position in bed to a two-person. It’s to the point now, that I struggle to sleep there without Zach. We go to bed together most nights, so on the occasions that we’re unable to, I really struggle with getting to sleep.
If he’s not home at night, I get nervous and turn on lights. I sometimes turn on something that makes noise (dishwasher, washing machine, etc.) I get scared…like really scared. It’s ridiculous.
I was thinking about this the other day. I was feeling like I’d become a wuss. Somehow I’d become reliant on my husband and dependent on his presence, no longer independent.
Then I began reflecting on my indpendent sun soaking days during tehthe summer at my townhouse and it seemed less than the ideal situation I w once thought it was. I couldn’t even remember what it was like to be outside without my Mal at my feet. I can’t imagine not taking walks in the sunshine with his ears flopping in front of me. I can’t imagine turning the lights off at night without him following me around.
I can’t imagine leaving the house in the morning without someone to kiss. I can’t imagine climbing into bed without tucking my feet under Zach’s and kissing him goodnight. I can’t imagine making plans without taking someone else into consideration.
And it’s not because I’ve become dependent. It’s not because I’ve become reliant. It’s because I’ve re-defined my definition of loneliness.
Loneliness used to be not having someone to talk to or reach out to. As long as I could talk to my mom on the phone or Zach for a bit, I was fine being alone all day even…for days straight. It would take a great deal of absence for me to start to feel lonely.
Now, it wouldn’t take as much because my life has become more full. My home is filled with warm memories and two others that claim a piece of my heart as their territory.
My home is not used to being empty and neither is my bed and so now it’s harder for me to adjust to.
I used to think if I started feeling this way, I’d need to distance myself so I didn’t feel I “needed” people.
Now, I wouldn’t have it any other way.