One of the first things you might encounter as an adult is living on your own. For most of us, this is an exciting thing! It’s your house so it’s literally your rules. You want your home to feel like an ice palace? Have at it, set the thermostat to 65 degrees, after all, you’re paying the bills.
You don’t want to take out the trash? You don’t want to do laundry? You don’t want to wash dishes? Congratulations, you can now afford to be disgusting. Never mind navigating the grown up world of paying bills and keeping up with your home and auto, there is an emotional side that you might not expect. When you live entirely on your own (zero pets, no room mates) life can get lonely. In most cases your family is away and your friends are too. How do you deal with the loneliness without becoming an accidental alcoholic? Might I add, one of the first items to enter my fridge was alcohol. Sweet baby brother asked me concernedly on the night he helped me move in, “What will you be having for dinner?” I laughed. Little did he know that living alone sometimes meant you don’t have dinner. You drown your loneliness in luxury vodka instead!
For me, I will admit the first few weeks I spent in my apartment I felt very alone. Don’t worry yourselves though, It’s okay, I ate food and remained hydrated most nights before I got shitfaced. Anyways, unfamiliar sounds startled me endlessly. The extended silence of my own company was somehow creepy as fuck. I could go days without using my own voice. Talking is really only a necessity when you encounter other people. I found myself feeling anxious in the dark of the night, and lonely during the brilliance of sunny days.It was strange how time adopted it’s own personality as I no longer had anyone to share my existence with in the small bubble of my residency.
So eventually on one random night as I was unpacking, I stumbled across a box with a picture of my baby brother and my lovely big sister. I didn’t care for the the pics to be entirely honest. One picture was of my brother, a younger version of himself, his face clean shaven, and his dimples shining through in a youthful smile. My heart warmed as I stared down into the photo. He was really a cutie. I thought back to the time period which ironically I wasn’t around for as I was in college the whole time. While I was away, his body was busy entering the first stages of adult maturation. He seemed to literally become a man over night. As a consequence, this pic of him was in no way part of my memories, yet it reminded me of a time when we were both younger and life was just simple. My eyes watered with sentiment.
I placed the photo to the side and continued digging through the same box of my belongings and I discovered a picture of my sister and I. At this moment the tears bulged over my eyelids and I wiped them away pitifully. Her and I both are at least 5 years younger, I actually think I’m around 17 in the picture and that would put her at about 22. I could have never imagined at that time what it felt like to be 21 or older but I always admired the way my sister seemed so strong. She never complained about being lonely but I know that she had to feel alone. In that picture, and in any other picture, it might not be evident but I’m always looking towards her. Not literally no. But, she’s my big sister.
I sniffled as I looked down out our younger selves. We looked so happy. The funny thing was, the picture was honestly fugly as hell. I laughed to myself like a batshit cat woman. At that moment, I felt compelled to display these candid photos. I struggled off the ground like a geriatric patient and walked over to my bare fridge. The picture of my sister and I came in a frame already. A magnet on the back secured it to my fridge. I stood and considered the frame for a moment before I shoved the picture of my brother partially behind it. Now it was the three of us. My two eternal best friends. I stared at the fridge comfortingly. Why did it feel so good to see their faces in this strange and unfamiliar home? I didn’t know, but I found myself staring into the kitchen as a walked around my home at times. If a sound scared me, I looked towards the kitchen. That’s where my siblings were. Somehow their faces would save me. I felt safe every time I glanced in the area, even though my stupid ass neighbors were outside arguing, It was cool, cause in here, it was me, my sis and my bro.
As it turns out, my siblings aren’t the only people who occupy a large chunk of my love and devotion. I eventually realized that not only did I enjoy those few snap shots on my fridge, so did my guests. They would step into my humble abode and quickly notice the two odd photos of my siblings. They would quietly study them before asking a question about the faces they saw. I realized I enjoyed talking about my loved ones.
One morning, while feeling lonely and pitiful as fuck, I came up with the bright idea to turn my fridge into…a Love-Fridge. I started searching for photos that made me smile, photos of myself looking amazing, photos of my siblings, photos of my mom, photos of my friends. I wanted to see things and people that I loved every time I walked past my kitchen. FUCK tackiness. I was gonna have a Love-Fridge!
I gathered my things and rushed to Walmart where I printed out my previously electronic memories. Sadly, I wasn’t able to include as many as I wanted because I wanted to keep my photos located on the freezer, and many of the other pics were locked away on an older computer. Nonetheless the end result was fucking beautiful. I literally can’t stop myself from staring into the kitchen at my beautiful Love-Fridge. The familiar faces, all smiling at me was addicting. I didn’t even have to talk to them. I didn’t have to be nice to them. I didn’t even have to say good morning. They were happy to see me ALWAYS. Every morning, every evening, and every day. If I really wanted, I call them up! I could chat with them. I could tell them I was feeling lonely or that missed them.
So if you struggle with loneliness because you’ve never lived entirely on your own, I absolutely suggest littering your home with pictures of the people and memories you love the most. It is very easy to feel forgotten and isolated when you’re staring at a blank wall. Cover that wall in memories and loved ones, and you’re suddenly connected to the outside world again. In my case, I love my Love-Fridge. It looks like a crazy ass collage of fucking greatness. If I plan on eating or drinking ever, I see it. If I plan on leaving my bedroom or home, I see it. I can’t forget that I am loved, and that I am not alone. Furthermore, these same faces also look at me as I’m deciding or not if I want to have a hangover for breakfast the next day. Ultimately, It’s a bit harder to drown in vodka with so many beautiful faces smiling at you.