(Following a friend's example, in honor of my 30th birthday I have decided to post 30 things I have accomplished in my life in 30 years. So for the remaining 15 days leading up to my birthday watch for a new post each day celebrating these 30 things.)
As indicated by my previous post "Where are you from?" - In my 30 years I have had 12 different addresses in 3 different states, 6 different cities and 2 different countries and counting my immediate family members I have had 23 different roommates.
A significant accomplishment among all of these is that I have also lived ALONE. Some may not consider this a major accomplishment, but I'm happy to have had this experience and I have had it at three different addresses. When I moved to seminary I moved there with the help of my parents, but I lived alone for the first year when I lived at the apartments at the seminary. Then following my break-up in November 2007 I lived alone again (with Sally!) off and on until I moved to Baton Rouge in 2009. And then, when I moved to Baton Rouge, I lived alone again for the first year.
Now I have certainly had help from my parents along the way when my car breaks down unexpectedly or something along those lines, but I consider it an accomplishment to have lived on my own - and to have done it in a couple different ways.
I pay my own bills, cry when the pipes in my wall burst and I'm not sure if I have to pay for that or the landlord, I mow my own yard, clean the whole house, make Sally get up and bark at stuff when things go bump in the night, jump on a chair when there's a cockroach on the floor (this is normal in Louisiana, do not worry!), think of my mom when there's toothpaste in the sink and I have no one to blame but myself, and rely on myself to have something cooked when I come home from a long day at work. Living on your own and taking care of it all is hard work sometimes - especially when you have no one else to blame but yourself for the things that don't get done.
I know some women (and men?) who have never lived on their own, who went straight from college back home, or to a marriage, or with roommates - and there's no commentary or judgment on that - just an observation that there are certainly those who have arrived at the age of 30 and have never lived on their own - but I am not one of them. One of the best feelings I can have at the age of 30 is that I can do it on my own - its my choice whether I want to or not. :)