The things that usually scare me include:
- Pastry goods at gas stations. Those nutrition facts are terrifying!
- Horror movies with story lines involving the church. (Read: The Exorcist. Just awful.)
- Giving blood. Nope. Sign me up for ANY other charitable cause.
- Heart attacks. So over these.
I now need to add something else to this list: Adjusting to living solo. Compared to the renovation work we did, this change is far more scary. Oh! Speaking of renovation, I have an update! I've showed you some of the initial stages, but here is the finished product!
Okay back to the scary thing that is living alone. I feel wimpy admitting that this scares me because I've lived alone before. At age 19. In a foreign country. With no other American students from back home. THIS should not scare me, but it does. Perhaps it's because--for the past 6 years--I've lived in the good company of either amazing college roommates or family. Or perhaps it's because of my less-than-comforting first night. Let me explain.
Two weeks ago, I drove to the city in the midst of a snow storm with a car full of groceries and a bargain TV. God had mercy on my soul and I miraculously parallel parked on a side street that wasn't a plowed street. I didn't have cable or internet installed yet, so after I set up my TV, I decided to call it a night.
Then, circa 3 am, my smoke detector started chirping from a low battery. Being the genius that I am, I didn't (a) have replacement batteries on hand or (b) think to just take it apart for the night. So I sat up, miserable, thinking about how much I'd like to swing a hammer through the damn thing.
That's when my actual alarm went off. The "there's-someone-in-your-house-hope-you-have-a-Home-Alone-escape-plan-in-place" alarm. The alarm company called me to ask if it was an actual break in and if they should call the police; they had registered an intrusion from the front window. I grabbed my shovel (yes, I know, pathetic. Illinois Conceal & Carry or not, I need a gun) and made my way to the front window. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. The alarm monitoring company said that sometimes strong winds set off the detector. There was a snowstorm that night, so I guess that made sense...but still! I was shaken. I went back to my bed and listened to my smoke alarm chirp until my third alarm went off. Time for work.
Getting ready in a new environment took 8 million times longer than it should have. At my parents' house, I had it down to a science. I could be up, showered, blow dry my hair, make up on, dressed, breakfast made, lunch packed and out the door in 27 minutes. I'm going to have to work to get my mojo back in this area ;). In the midst of fumbling for my breakfast and trying to pack my computer bag, I realized that my key to the communal laundry room wasn't on my key ring. Damn. Not essential, but still...really?! A kind neighbor lent me her key so that I could run to the Home Depot on my lunch break and get keys and a replacement battery for the smoke detector. I've become all too familiar with that place...
Then on my way to work, I realized that my El line was down to accommodate construction of one of the Chicago bridges, making me almost an hour late to work. So that was fun.
As terrifying and frustrating as that first night/morning was, I've slowly started to get the swing of things around here. I even made my first real meal here!
Which was a quesadilla, thanks for asking ;)