Out of My Element

I am out of my element this morning. I’m on a business trip, and I’m sharing a room with my boss. We get along fairly well, and she said she was open to sharing if I wanted to in order to save money. Well, I know on a state budget, we have limited funds, so I’ll compromise to save money if it’s not too overly uncomfortable AND it’s not costing me money. I’m already having to pay to board my dog on business travel, so any travel costs me personally 21 bucks a night. I was open to sharing on this one-night trip. It’s no big deal, right?

I’m single. I spend a lot of time alone. I get up and do my morning routine however the hell I want to do it. I sleep late if I want. I get up really early if I want. I make as much noise as I want. I turn on all of the lights – or none – if I want. I can shower whenever I want to even if it’s 10 minutes before I have to leave. I forgot about the whole ‘sharing a bathroom’ routine. And I forgot that I get up really early in comparison to the rest of the world, and I have to be respectful of my compadre’s sleep time.

By the time she got in last night, I was in the bed, and she tiptoed around me. She did have the good sense to ask about the morning routine. I was getting up at 5 and working out. She wouldn’t get up till about 6:30. She’s still snoozing as I write this. I’ve already done speedwork on the treadmill for 20 minutes, showered, completed my Curly Girl hair routine and fixed my tea. I am truly in the dark. (And, yes, I took this pic of my own eyes…. lol.)

Photo on 3-26-15 at 6.22 AMI was raised in a household of 6 people. I spent my entire life being around lots of people and sharing a morning routine. Five of us shared one bathroom. I’m not sure why Daddy got his own bath and the rest of us shared one, but that’s the way it was. Luckily we did have one with a separate dressing area, so at least one person could shower while two or three of us brushed teeth and blow-dried our insane curly hair to try to straighten it. And luckily we were only two girls. Then I went straight to a dorm with 8 college co-eds and after that to my first marriage. Sharing space and a morning routine was my default.

It was not until after my first marriage that I really experienced living alone. I remember loving that first little apartment in Concepts 21. The complex was mostly singles. I had a fantasy that I would be hanging out partying with singles and living a happy-go-lucky single lifestyle, but I ended up almost immediately with a traveling job where I was gone about 80% of the time. I loved that apartment. I decorated it the way I wanted. I laid awake all night watching country music videos while I grieved over the loss of my marriage and sat in the void of my new life. I remember a lot of sadness there, but I also remember the sweet glorious promise of freedom. It would be a long time before I truly embraced my freedom, but there was something really comforting about those initial years of adapting to singlehood.

When I moved to Seattle, I had lots of guests. One weekend when I had a friend visiting for more than a few days, I felt myself feeling really irritated at the compromises I was having to make to my day. My default had become being alone. I thought it was interesting. I liked having my space to myself. And, I remember that all of a sudden I understood what people meant when they said someone was ‘set in their ways’.

I enjoy being with friends and people and compromising my space. But, it does take some planning ahead. Generally when I share a hotel room with someone, I bring some comfy clothes so I can head my early bird self down to the lobby for coffee and writing while they sleep. Rarely am I lucky enough to have an early bird roommate. I forgot to pack those essentials on this trip and didn’t feel like traipsing down in my jammies – for my sake and others’. So I sit in the dark until I can move around the cabin freely and get dressed. I have some resumes to review for one of the schools’ open Instructional Designer position and then we’re headed to Starbucks to start the day. Tonight, I’ll be home and back in my element. And Ashok will be back in hers, too. I can’t imagine she’s enjoying all of those other dogs all night long.

4 Comments on “Out of My Element

  1. Early in my career I worked for a small company. On a few occasions two of us would drive from Maine to New Jersey. We always split a room, and it only seemed a little weird. But we were fine with it, no awkward moments or anything.
    I know how you feel about house guests after a few days.

  2. Living alone is one of the best parts of being single 🙂 I’m taking on a roommate for a few months for some extra cashflow and am saddened by all that I’ll lose from it (freedom wise) – trying to focus on the gains though (a companion, some cash, some help around the house). I do love living alone though!

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