Tag Archives: living alone

18. Be grateful for everything you have and don’t worry so much about what you don’t.


I woke up this morning feeling a little blue, thinking and worrying about the things I don’t have. Like a husband. Or a house on ????????????????????????????????????????the beach. And more money in my savings account. There are some other things on the list, but you get the idea. I remember one of my roommates always used to say, “Focus on what you have, not on what you don’t.” Sometimes, that’s hard to do. So, I try to think about my life and the things I have, like: a loving family, supportive friends, a beautiful cat, a condo I own, freedom, independence, this blog, a fun car, the beach (10 minutes away), and most important, my health. I’m sure if I think on it a little harder and a little longer, there’s lots of other great stuff in my life, too. And even if I don’t have everything I want (right now), I realize I have more than most.

Word to the wise: Don’t let what you want get in the way of what you have. There are many gifts in your life. As you can see from my list, most of them have nothing to do with money. Although it never hurts to have some. Make a point of recognizing and being grateful for your gifts. And if you’re really bummed, just listen to “Don’t Worry, Be Happy,” by Bobby McFerrin. If that doesn’t make you feel better, I don’t know what will.

What do you do when you get the blues? Note: If I’m lucky enough to get a book deal, your comments may be published anonymously in the upcoming book, “Wise Before 25, 50 Things Young Women Should Know.”

11. Travel with a tour group.


I went to Italy on a guided bus tour for 11 days and this was one of the best experiences of my life. I highly recommend taking a trip hlike this before you’re 25. If you can do it alone, even better. Because you’re going to meet lots of people, many of whom will take you under their wing. I remember on my Italy tour, one of the girls who traveled alone celebrated her 21st birthday at a Tuscan farmhouse having the most incredible food and wine while enjoying the well wishes of her travel companions, which included a very happy me. Not to mention, all of us dancing the “Macarena” with a goofy Italian DJ. And the night before her 21st birthday, we all had dinner in this incredible piazza in Rome where I introduced her to Sambuca. Yeah, I’m a bad influence (see post #74, “Learn how to make a killer cocktail and always have the ingredients on hand at your place”) I’m sure that’s one birthday she’ll never forget. The other really great thing about a tour like this is if you go to a country where you don’t speak the language, everything is taken care of for you. We never had to buy a ticket to a museum, or worry about our luggage, where to go and how to get there. I’ve traveled the other way – driving 1,600 miles across Ireland – and I can tell you the days we took bus tours were the ones we looked forward to most of all. For my trip to Italy, every day was a bus day and every day was absolutely the best.

Word to the wise: If you want to go somewhere far away, a bus tour is your best bet. I wish I had done it sooner. I’m doing one again next year. And you should, too. Here’s the company I went with, in case you’re interested, they go over all over the world and I highly recommend them:


What do you think? Ever traveled with a group? Note: If I’m lucky enough to get a book deal, your comments may be published anonymously in the upcoming book, “Wise Before 25, 50 Things Young Women Should Know.”

7. Know how to cook three things well.


I suppose being a creative type of person and someone who loves food (and don’t get me started on wine), I’ve always been interested in cooking. Also, living with my dad after my parents divorced, I started experimenting at an early age. One of my favorite things to make was spaghetti and meat sauce. Or should I say, ground beef and Ragu. My tastes have evolved somewhat (although they still include frosted blueberry Pop Tarts) and I’ve learned to master a few dishes. Unfortunately, I’ve put my family and friends through some disasters over the years to get to the good stuff. The three things I make really well are omelets (my secret is starting them on the stovetop and finishing them in the oven), deviled eggs (are you sensing a theme here?) and the piece de resistance, my grilled smoked turkey sausage Reuben. As you can see, none of these are super complicated but I know when I make them, everyone will want more. Of course, I cook many other things, just not as well. Do you have your three yet?

Word to the wise: It’s nice to be able to whip something up that’s tried and true. While experimenting can be fun, you’ll find that some things are best left in the lab. So choose your three things and take the time to perfect them. And even though you may not be an Iron Chef, you’ll feel like one.

What do you think? Note: Your comments may be published anonymously in the upcoming book, “Wise Before 25, 50 Things Young Women Should Know.”

3. If your roommate’s boyfriend is a former felon and she doesn’t know what he was in jail for, move out.


True story, I kid you not. My final roommate (and the following will give you an indication of why I’ve been living alone ever since) used to bring guys home from bars. We had two bedrooms and we shared a bathroom and a shower. Good times. Especially when strange dudes would sleep over. Like Butch, the felon (and yes, that was his real name). I was told that he served time, but my roommate didn’t know what for. Butch was quite a character. I remember how it creeped me out the way he would look at me before I would go for a jog. Yes, I was wearing shorts and a sports bra, but that wasn’t atypical jogging attire, unless you just got out of the slammer and haven’t seen a woman in five years (just speculation). And get this, according to my roommate Brittany, whose name I’ve changed to protect the stupid, when they went out to dinner and it was time to pay, he would have her go out to the car and start the engine. When he would get in the car, he’d tell her to step on the gas because he had just skipped out on the bill. I believe that’s what they call a “dine and dash.” After hearing about this incident, I moved out pronto.

Word to the wise: When it comes to roommates, know when it’s time to hold ’em and when it’s time to fold ’em. Because your safety and well being come first. You shouldn’t allow any roommate to put either of those things at risk. And if you can afford to live alone, that’s the wisest thing you can do by far.

What do you think? Note: Your comments may be published anonymously in the upcoming book, “Wise Before 25, 50 Things Young Women Need to Know.”