The Fortress: Things I’ve Learned From My 1st Year of Living Alone

Most Filipinos my age would find living on their own daunting, pointless, and sometimes even scary. I could not agree more. Living alone is all those things, and more. Traditionally speaking, we are not designed to live alone. Remember that shit about a man not being able to live like an island? That shit is true: In every fucking way possible.

1.        It’s Expensive as Fuck.

I didn’t realize the amount of money one needs to survive. Sure, while I live like a slob and my diet consists mostly of microwaved leftovers from dinners with friends, and quick meals from 711 and Mini-stop, not to mention making friends with 3-4 Phone Operators for McDelivery, adding all these, along with certain expenses really takes a HUGE FUCKING CLUMP out of your basic monthly salary. Taxes don’t help either.

So true in so many levels.

It’s more than just rent. You’ve got your utilities, monthly groceries (deodorants and shit… Old Spice is expensive), phone bills, beers, really unhealthy, but heavenly fast food items, and even Cab rides to meet up with friends in the middle of the night. They all add up to one massive expense.

2.       Time Slows Down When You Live Alone

Hours seem to pass like days when you’re drunk on your couch playing FIFA 13, or watching all 3 Lord of the Rings on High Definition. Sure, it helps your hand/eye coordination as well as trains you to be a better boozer for those times when you find yourself in a drinking contest (not to mention gives you 1st-hand knowledge on the cheapest watering holes in the city). Sure you can get up from the couch, take a shower, get dressed, call up some friends, hail a cab, get stuck in traffic, decide to just walk it instead, get sweaty, regret walking it, get to the bar, pay 4x as much as you would pay for beer in the supermarket and stumble back home a couple of hours later… But really, who the fuck has patience for that?

When you’ve done all the games, wrote all the stories, watched all the movies… there’s really just one thing left to do…

So you stay in.

Have you ever had one of those days wherein you find yourself on Wikipedia and you just start opening random articles and reading each and every one of them? Only to find out that it’s 1:30 in the morning, you have 87 missed calls on your phone, you’re 2 hours late for a meeting with friends, and that you seem to be even more knowledgeable in more useless shit than ever before.

3.       You End Up Learning/Doing/Saying Really Disturbing Things That Seem To Pop-up in the Most Awkward Situations

Have you ever had the blessed experience of having breakfast in Pancake house under the most inebriated of states? Surrounded by families on their Sunday brunch? With kids and shit? It’s pretty awkward.

Not to mention bringing up certain porn stars and reality TV personalities only because… you know, the “information was lodged there somewhere”.

This won’t help you with the awkward situations you’ll get yourself into

4.       There Is No Word to Describe How Fucked Up the Internet Is

As much as I love the Internet and all the good, heavenly things it provides me… The Internet is the most FUCKED UP place in the entire world. Have you seen the shit that’s in that thing? It’s insane. Try searching for the most mundane of things on Google and click the last few pages (what’s that, page 9999?)… See what you come up with.

I. Just. Can’t.

5.       You End Up Hating Things More, and With Greater Passion

There’s just no way to stop it. You encounter things that will really drive you nuts. Whether it’s an article from the NY Times online, or an annoying status update of your Facebook friend, if you hate, then prepare to hate it even further.

Living alone doesn’t give you the satisfaction, or the comfort, of a 2nd opinion. Living with family, or friends, at least, allowed for some sort of distraction from stupid things the world, or in our case, the Internet, distributes. Living alone just leaves you alone with your dangerous thoughts.

6.       The First Few Months Make You Feel Like a Hobo

Let’s face it, the first thing we say to ourselves when we move out (or what we tell ourselves we’ll do the moment we move out) is “I’mgoing to do whatever the fuck I want” (or some variation of this).

“I don’t know where I’ll sleep tonight, but I know I’ll still get some sleep”

This statement, more often than not, translates to: Binge drinking on a Monday, Sleeping in on a Tuesday, Saying ‘Yes’ to random trips to Tagaytay, AND sleeping anywhere sleep catches up. Ironic as it may sound, living on your own gives you so much freedom that you seldom find the need to actually end up going home (unless you’ve decided not to leave your home in the first place). No one’s going to call you and ask you where you are, no one to tell you that “It’s already way past midnight”… unless you guys have somewhere to go to past 12AM, and very possibly, no one will tell you “Get some sleep. You’ve got work in the morning”.

Just. Like. A. Hobo.

7.       Ironically Experience the Feeling of Having So Much to Do that You End Up Not Doing Anything At All

We’re all guilty of this. We’re guilty of saying things such as “I’ll do it tomorrow” or “I’ll go there some other time” simply because, we have ALL the time in the world.

Living with friends, or with family members never allowed us to do things on our own time. Our days always circled around the time of others. Living abroad, I’ve experienced times wherein I had to come home early from class because my roommate got so drunk the night before that he locked himself out of the apartment, or when the 3 of us had to meet up with our landlord to settle some complaints against us by some angry Spanish neighbors.

Now, living alone gives us practically unlimited freedom… at the expense of not getting shit done.

8.       Nudity. I Have Even Less Regard For Clothing Now.

Seriously, who doesn’t want to be naked all the time when they live alone? One of the many things I’ve learned to do in my 1st year of independence is to not give a fuck about clothing, simply because I don’t use them in my own home. On the plus side, I save a lot on laundry costs. On the negative side, staying in seems like a much better idea when you’re naked on your couch eating cereals at 9 in the evening.

Living alone is hard. It’s expensive, pointless, and detrimental to your mental and physical health. You should really look into it. It’s awesome.


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