One thing I’ve realized since I began living alone: Things go bump in the night.
When I was searching for my first apartment, I viewed a place above a law office that would require a 20-yard walk through an alley from my car to the front door. And it was a walk I’d be making at midnight, since my job was 4 to 12. Risk-taker that I am, I barely even blinked at it. “No big deal, man. Walking alone in a dark alley in the middle of the night with no one around to hear me scream? I got this.”
Fast forward a month or so. I ended up not choosing that apartment (for unrelated reasons), and signed a lease for a duplex where my car would be parked right outside.
And for full year I lived there, I sprinted the 10 feet from the car from the door, key extended in my hand, ready to slam and lock the door the instant I was inside.
Because I am a scared-y cat.
It extended to just about every aspect of my newfound life away from home and roommates.
– I had to stop watching “Criminal Minds” after I shamelessly followed the Comcast guy around the apartment to ensure he wasn’t bugging my bedroom with a webcam that he would use to learn my habits so he could later return to kill me. (Honest to God, this happened in an episode. Messed. Up.)
– My adrenaline was jolted into high gear on more than one occasion when it sounded like a burglar was running down the stairs to rob me at gunpoint. (Turns out I have very, very thin walls.)
– If I didn’t consciously pay attention while locking my car (and hearing the beep) and front door, I couldn’t be sure I did — and would traipse out of bed at all hours of the night to double check.
– The one time I had to go down into my unfinished crawl space of a basement, I had to say, out loud, “I’m not scared, I’m not scared, I’m not scared” until I was safely back upstairs.
Part of this might be my lunacy showing itself. But the fact is, living alone for the first time is a big adjustment. When strange noises and shadows start appearing, there’s no one nearby to assure you it’s just the refrigerator.
Did you have a similar adjustment period when you first starting living alone? Any scared-y cat stories of your own? Share your experience in the comments.