I’ve actually never lived alone, so when I made the decision to get an apartment by myself I knew I was in for a rude awakening. I wanted and needed the challenge, I had some growing up to do and there was definitely a lot I needed to learn. I think a lot of people were expecting and/or wanting me to fail, especially my ex. He paid my mother a visit one day right before our divorce and told her not to give me money if I asked for it. Some may say I’m spoiled, I say I’m just loved.
My mom had a difficult time getting pregnant and was looking into adoption when she found out she was pregnant with yours truly. I’m basically a blessing and it’s not my fault that she chooses to shower her little blessing with monetary gifts. Also, I’d like to state for the record that when I ask for money it’s typically for tolls so I can get back home. At the end of our visits she’s more than willing to pay to get rid of me, it’s a win-win.
Needless to say, I was bound and determined to do this on my own and prove everyone wrong. I didn’t want anybody’s handouts; I wanted to be successful, independent, and happy and I wanted to do it on my own. I can now proudly say I am all three of those things, and I absolutely did it on my own. But getting there wasn’t easy …
I got home from the gym one night and poured myself a glass of wine. I had major plans to relax and look though the new Crate & Barrel catalog. My financial advisor always tells me it’s never too early to start planning for my future. What better way to plan for my future than by preselecting décor to put in my future million dollar home. I couldn’t afford cable, so I really don’t know what other way my advisor expected me to interpret his statement. This little catalog also gave me a kind of comfort. It was the only piece of my married life that I let come with me, it was a memory of something calm and stable in a new life that was filled with complete chaos.
As I finished pouring my wine I thought I saw something move overhead. I looked up and my eyes widened in horror. It was the world’s largest centipede! There he was, chilling on my ceiling like he owned the place. I didn’t know much about centipedes and their behavior, but I was absolutely certain he was going to jump on me and eat my face. My hands were shaking, I looked around waiting for someone to magically appear to take care of this situation for me. Nobody came. Then I picked up my phone and scrolled through my contacts, I needed to call someone but figured by the time I got a hold of anyone I would have been a goner. Tears started to well up in my eyes, I took a deep breath and decided I could do this, I put my game face on and prepared for war. I walked to the kitchen and grabbed my weapon. A bottle of Windex. I turned the knob to stream, took aim at the enemy and fired away. He dropped from the ceiling and ran under the bar, I ran the other way screaming! You ever see a centipede move? I can assure you they take full advantage of having that many legs. I was still shaking as I paced the floor keeping a safe distance between myself and the home invader. If he wanted to play this game, I was in, and I’d play all night! After what seemed like an eternity I finally saw 43 legs, give or take, pop out from under the bar. I dropped to the floor and sprayed so much Windex so fast that my finger was aching. I scrambled to my feet and moved the bar, there he was swimming in a puddle of blue. I knew I needed to do something to officially kill him but there was no way I was smashing him with a paper towel, I didn’t know if he would make that crunching sound, and I for sure wasn’t going to willingly get bug guts on the bottom of one of my shoes. The tears were back and were falling down my face, I was panicking, I had him cornered and I needed to end it. I stomped my feet and shouted through sobs, “I NEED A MAN,” and before I could even think I grabbed the Crate & Barrel magazine and slammed it down on top of him. I looked down at the catalog that was now soaked with window cleaner and bug guts and cried. My old life was over. I picked up the magazine and threw it in the trash, I apologized to the centipede and closed the lid. I was officially alone. It was the part of being on my own that I didn’t like to think about, the part I tried to avoid. There was nobody there to save the day, I had to be my own hero.
After I cleaned up the insane mess I made I sat on the couch and started giving myself a pep talk. Killing bugs wasn’t going to be the only thing I was going to have to handle. I got lost in my thoughts and as I looked across the room I saw another centipede on the floor staring at me. You’ve got to be fucking kidding me.
Now I was pissed! I stormed back into the kitchen to grab the Windex and this time I got paper towels, an unnecessarily large amount of paper towels. I also double-checked the trash can to make sure centipede number 1 was dead and there wasn’t some kind of weird pet cemetery type shit going on in my apartment. After visual confirmation I crept up on centipede number 2 and ended his life! Squirt, squirt, squish – done and no crunch! I threw him in the trash can with his friend and offered no apology as I closed the lid. At this point all I could do was shake my head and laugh. I was proud of my tiny victory. I was also exhausted and laid back down on the couch. That night I fell asleep with one eye open and my finger on the trigger of my bottle of Windex. But not before I completed an extensive Google search to find out if centipedes ate humans. My Google search history is the WORST!
I did a little more that night than just fight two centipedes. The little dance to the death with my 100 legged friends was actually a bigger battle, it was a battle with myself. Sometimes it takes something small, like the killing of a centipede, to wake you up and realize you’re the one standing in your own way. If I was going to fail at living alone and being independent it would be because I prevented myself from succeeding. It would be because I would continue to do what I’ve always done, depend on other people instead of depending on myself. That night I proved to myself that I could make it on my own, I would adapt and I would change. I was going to reach all of my goals and I wasn’t going to let anyone or anything stand in my way, not even me.
The next morning I woke up bite free and proud. Life was my centipede and I was going to murder it!