Aaaand look who fell off the bus once again. For almost the whole of 2017. It’s me. Obviously. I do want to blog, honestly, I just somehow never prioritise it with everything else going on in my life (work, school; the usual, I suppose).
But this is beside the point.
My boyfriend and I recently agreed to house/dog-sit for my cousin for two weeks while she was on holiday with her family. We saw this as a great opportunity to get a feel for things, since we’ve been discussing moving in together possibly sometime next year and it would be nice to sort of know what we would be getting ourselves into.
The experience overall has been pretty great, honestly. Being able to make our own decisions about what we eat and do with our time is awesome (I was even allowed to have smoothies for breakfast which is forbidden back at my mom’s house because the blender is noisy at 5:30AM, Caitlin). We’ve really had loads of fun and being able to spend time together every evening without the rush of leaving to go home so we can get to get to sleep is all we’ve wanted for the past two years – going home and giving that up again this weekend is going to thoroughly suck because it has been AMAZING.
Immersing myself almost completely in adult life reminded me that it’s most definitely not all sunshine and roses. Though it was only two weeks, I’ve discovered a few things to I’ll need to keep in mind before I decide to take the leap myself.
- Pets might only be a good idea in theory
I love animals. Love them. For ages I’ve been absolutely besotted with the idea of moving out and owning a dog and having a cute little family with a furry baby who sleeps in the bed with us and comes out for walks every day and eats dinner at the table and has their own walk-in closet and, yeah, no. I still love dogs. And I still want to (and will) own a dog or seven one day, but unfortunately, it’s definitely going to be a one-day-problem. Animals are messy and expensive and they wake you up at 3AM to let them out to poop – if you’re lucky. Because otherwise they don’t bother waking you up and you get a fun surprise at 5:30 the next morning. Long story short, dogs are great and I can’t wait to own one but I am certainly not financially or emotionally equipped for that to happen any time soon.
- Everything is time consuming?
And by this I mean literally everything. Making all your meals by yourself and cleaning up by yourself and dishes and laundry and picking up dog poop (are you seeing a pattern here yet?) and grocery shopping. Everything takes time and when you work nine hours a day time isn’t something you have a lot of – and spending it on these things kind of sucks a little, especially when there are roughly six million other things you’d rather be spending your time on. But that’s life and that’s an adjustment I’m just going to have to suck it up and make one day.
- Everything costs MONEY
Do you know what’s expensive? Electricity. One of those stupid things you take for granted because the lights are always on in your house and your mom pays the bills. But when Mom ain’t doing that anymore, your eyes flicker to that little meter every three seconds and it feels like every three seconds it drops. Significantly. I consider myself to be pretty diligent when it comes to switching off lights and TVs and all those things when they’re not being used. AND STILL. The number just drops, like, bye Caitlin, there go all your hopes and dreams. Also, food costs money. Also, DOG FOOD COSTS MONEY?
- Priorities have to change
I’m pretty big on health and fitness lately and I make going to the gym and planning healthy meals a priority in my everyday life. My mom likes to play the Negative Nelly card and tell me that it’s not going to be so easy when I’m living on my own and I’ll have to rearrange my priorities and the ever-motivational “you won’t be able to maintain it”. Now, I’m not saying she’s right but to a certain extent, she has a point. Making time to cook up a nutritious meal every day as well as fit in a full workout is not a particularly easy habit to maintain without proper dedication, and extensive meal planning and prepping on the weekends is definitely an essential if I am going to want to keep this up when I’m on my own. Other than that, especially for someone who values a tidy space, making time for cleaning up every day will, unfortunately, have to be prioritised above Netflix binging and taking three-hour baths.
- You have to buy things
This is not me complaining about the cost of living again – what I mean is that I’ve realised I’m not just going to waltz out of my mother’s house straight into my beautiful, modern, fully-furnished Pinterest-worthy flat, equipped with each and every knick knack I could ever imagine needing. I’m going to have to stock up. Like, on everything. And realising this has also made me think of all the things you wouldn’t usually think of – honestly, who has a drying rack at the forefront of their minds when leaving the nest?
There are probably a handful of other things I’ve realised through this experience and about a million more I am yet to learn – something I’m (anxiously) looking forward to. Life in itself is nothing more than a massive learning curve anyway.