On Living Alone

How living alone can help your personal growth.

On-Living-Alone Image Credit: Erika Raxworthy

I love sharing tips, ideas and products that create a more beautiful and welcoming home environment. Yet I'm also increasingly conscious of the fact that turning a house into a home involves more than just decorating it. That's why I'm honored that Clementine Daily asked me to write about my experience on a deeper, more personal level. Of course I'll always get excited about the perfect domestic discovery, but it's through the lens of a new perspective on living well—a perspective that I'm proud to have earned.

Exactly one year ago I moved into my first apartment. Sure, I’d had others, but this was the first time I’d navigated the hunt solo, the first time I’d signed a lease with only my name on it, the first time I’d be living alone without family, a roommate, or a husband. I was thirty years old; and I was terrified.

I arrived in Los Angeles from San Francisco having walked away from an ailing marriage and from the business into which I’d poured both my finances and my heart. I brought with me one suitcase, six grocery sacks, and a hand-written list of five goals. At the top of that list was the very path upon which I was embarking: live by myself for at least one year. As I carried my bags up the stairs and into the unknown, I felt trepidation but also an overwhelming need to prove that I could - in fact - survive alone. Because truth be told, I didn’t believe myself the least bit capable of doing so.

Today, I’ve rebuilt my life from scratch. When fear and self-doubt come knocking, I simply remind myself how far I’ve come in the last twelve months. It’s been a time steeped in reflection. Every question about the house (Should I shop vintage or new? How long can I go without a sofa, anyway?) has represented the chance to ask at a more profound level, "Do I want this in my life? Do I need this in my life?" As I’ve become more intentional about my interior, I’ve learned what’s important to me and what I can let go. I’ve witnessed firsthand the power of a mindful home to alter my outlook, boost my confidence, and empower me to take my destiny into my own hands.

p.s. Living alone isn't the only way to get to know yourself better. Catch more of our favorite reflections on personal growth!