It was forty minutes after six when I arrived that evening at the very small studio apartment I have been renting for more than seven years. How small if you may ask? Well, you can reach everything in a couple of steps. As I was preparing myself to relax watching the local news …I realized I got few things to do first. Then the idea of writing this article popped up.
Some people asked me if I did not get lonely when I’m alone at my apartment. For an introvert like me, I love my own private space so very rarely either that I feel lonely or alone. I enjoyed it actually most of the time. After nearly nine years of living as a born-again Christian, I have never enjoyed living independently than ever before. Living on my own means freedom to me. I could sing praises freely and worship God anytime, which I really loved to do both in victory and in defeat. Spontaneously, I could pray and talk to God out loud as if He is just there. Easily I could cry and sometimes mourn when struggling with sins and sinful desires. Moreover, I enjoyed the quietness as I do my devotions or simply reading the Bible.
Additionally, I could enjoy doing stuff alone such as watching movies or series, listening to my favourite music while singing along with it or sweating my body out to maintain a healthy and good physique, and reading books or studying. I love it when I am writing, conceptualising, and doing presentations for my workshops or seminars! Most importantly, I love the silence of being alone when I am thinking about anything … and talking to myself. When I got bored, I could simply go to a mall and other places and meet friends anytime I want to.
On the other side, here are the things that I need to do while contemplating on my independence that led me to write it down. First, I need to cook rice for my dinner. While waiting for it, I have to place the groceries I bought that day to their allocated places. Afterwards, I need to count how much money I have left and check my budget for the week. When the rice cooker got on warm, I put on top of the cooked rice the viand and covered it. Then I sat in front of my TV as I thought of my life as a single guy and living alone. Doing all these, I recognised, are also part of being unmarried and living independently. Not to mention that there are laundry and other very limited household chores.
Another not so bright side of this kind of life is when you get sick. It is quite hard to manage and still do the necessary task when you are not feeling well. In fact, when I was confined early this year due to severe abdominal pain, I need to call out a few friends to help out and bring me to the hospital. It is not every day that you are sick. However, still, it is difficult, dangerous for some, when you are living alone. Good thing I still have a family to escape to once in a while.
Knowing that my life is meant to live for Jesus, I need not worry about everything. Trusting this reality gives me a great sense of satisfaction in life, inner peace, and joy in the midst of life struggles. Living alone and being single for almost twenty years of my adult life, I got so used to it. Thus, the idea of marriage is not that appealing to me. Not that I do not want to get hitched and have children, I do, to be honest. Sometimes I got envious whenever I see sweet couples or young family close to my age. Come on! Who does not? Most especially single women, right? However, with my same-sex struggles and sexual issues, freelance income from my budding career in counseling, and not having my own house or a car … all these make the romantic relationship a little complicated for me. Sounds pathetic? I do not think so.
What matters most is that I am happy and contented with my life in spite of the “not so bright” side of it. Still, there are a lot of things I look forward to, get excited, and be positive about life in general. There are plans being cooked at present and dreams that I have been praying about! And there are many other things I could do as a single guy, which I am not sure if I could still do when I am married and got children. Especially in serving the Lord through ministries while pursuing a doctorate degree at the same time.
So who says living alone and being single is not fun? I guess you better think again. As long as you know and you are breathing the purpose of your life (i.e. living a fully surrendered life to Jesus above all, just in case you are still wondering what is it), living alone and being single could be as happy, or even better sometimes, like that of being married.