When the door closed behind my dad, I took a deep breath and sighed. This is it. I looked around the small apartment and there was utter silence. And I must admit I thought I would be okay with it. You’re a big girl, you’re an adult. This is normal.
Moving out seems to be one of the keys to being an adult. You’re an adult once you have your own place, paying your own bills, and doing your own dishes. Still, it is very stressful. After about three to four weeks of intensely apartment hunting, I had finally found a place. It was a few minutes to the closest station, had a grocery store across the street, a line of shops, and plenty of park areas.
Of course, all of this did not make up for the comforts of home and prepare me for my first night alone. I have never lived away from home. Even in college, I practically still lived at home, despite also having a dorm; but, they were only about fifteen minutes apart. And now, here we were… first move, first apartment, and new country.
After the door closed, I needed noise. (I like silence, but my home is noisy). I had no Wi-Fi, and the TV was completely in Chinese (I still can’t even change the input). So, I blasted my Spotify on my phone—of course, the KPop was playing. The list was on repeat, as I settled in and organized my belongings, until I decided it was time to go to sleep.
Changed into pajamas, plugged in the phones, and turned down the volume. Covers up. More and more it was sinking in. You’re not home. This isn’t home. I’m not going to have my sister dive into my bed hurting my legs, my mom come disturb me with kisses at 2:00 a.m., and my dad pop in to see if I want to watch a new movie. Nor would I have any cats climbing over my face to come sleep on my pillow.
The change was too real. Back home I slept in the dark. Here, I had to leave the light on. I slept on one side of the double bed that was too close to the floor me. I am used to having a cat that takes up one side completely with her all short of ten-pound self. My suburban wildlife and train sounds were traded in for car honks and screeches of the city. Every noise that didn’t come from my phone startled me. The sound of the AC unit kicking in, the neighbor’s key turning, the strange sounds coming through the ceiling. The whole night I was on edge, sleeping with a box cutter on the dresser next to me.
Until morning. I went to my dad’s hotel and we had our final breakfast before his flight. Would I admit the night was rough then—no! Of course not. (Only that it’s different). I mused through the day craving a nap in the afternoon. Three months later, I can. And now it’s not too bad.
I’m sure my first night alone is not as bad as some. If you have an interesting first night home alone story, we would love to hear it. Feel free to share!