Brighter Lights: A 20-Something's First Time Living Alone

I prefer the city lights to stars.

As a child, I spent some time in Children’s Hospital, surviving a number of surgeries, tests, and long nights. The only thing that truly calmed me down after a long day in the hospital was looking out the window at the city lights. I don’t remember it, but that’s what my parents tell me.

All I ever wanted was to live in a city and stare out at the lights every night. And now, that’s finally reality.

The small towns I grew up in always felt suffocating. I wanted to move to a big city, but it felt out of reach. I realize Minneapolis isn’t considered a “big” city when compared to places like Chicago, LA, or New York. But Minneapolis is the perfect city for me.

It’s close to my parents and my sister and her family, which means I can visit whenever I want. It’s home to a number of advertising and marketing agencies, and it’s a great city for working women, which means I’ll (hopefully) never be hurting for a job. Minneapolis has a perfect balance of skyscrapers and nature. I can spend the morning shopping downtown and finish it lakeside, looking out at a setting sun.

What’s not to love?

I’ve moved a lot in my 22 years. I’m no stranger to filling boxes with belongings and unloading them into organized chaos days later. But, this is the first time in my life I’ve done the unloading all by myself. This is the first time I’ve lived alone, paid my own rent, and had sole responsibility of all my bills, groceries, etc. It’s incredibly exciting.

Throughout my life, I've always pictured myself as a twenty or thirty-something living in a small, well-decorated apartment, working a job I love in a city I love just as much; barely making it by, but loving every minute of the struggle. The years flew by between playing out that fantasy with my childhood friends and actually living it. I can finally say I am living the life I’ve always wanted.

Minneapolis Soap Factory - Saint Anthony Main

In the first week of living alone, I learned:

  • Vacuum cleaners are really expensive. Why?

  • I’m more particular about decor and organization than I thought.

  • I have too many pairs of shoes.

  • I like a little noise when I sleep. 

I had such a hard time sleeping the first couple nights, until I realized it was because I am so used to hearing roommates walking around and making noise. Eventually I opened my windows and I slept much better listening to the sounds of traffic below.)

  • I'm excited to learn more about myself and more about what being an “adult” is all about. I think I’m doing a pretty good job so far, but I know the best is yet to come.