What I Learned from Living on My Own for the First Time

learned living alone first time
Photo by Jake Hills on Unsplash

I recently relocated to another state in my country where I had to live by myself. Of course, living on your own for the first time has its own unique set of challenges. I have learned a few lessons in my first months living alone and I am still learning a lot, especially about human behavior.

One of my first challenges was putting together a portable closet, which came with about a hundred separate pieces and a very sparse instruction manual. I assumed it would be fun to do and a nice little achievement for the day. So, I got to work.

I separated the pieces and started studying the instruction manual. There were no actual words in it –just diagrams– which was quite interesting. Putting together the bottom piece was quite easy and then I hit a snag. The middle pieces refused to fit. It tried every trick in the book but nothing. I was starting to get frustrated. I even contemplated returning it, with the excuse that the closet was poorly designed/I got the wrong components.

Suddenly I saw that I had been working with the wrong connecting piece. I picked up the right one and voila! It fit perfectly. I was delighted as I had spent about two hours struggling with the wrong one and had gotten very frustrated.

It was illuminating to realize that it was okay to let go of some people and accept that they were never really meant for me.

I realized then that the same principle applied to my life. There are times when I try to stay close to people who don’t understand me or who are not very good for me. I try my possible best to get the relationship to work but no matter how hard I try, it never does. It never quite fit and I always get frustrated.

However, with some people, we fit together easily. We work seamlessly and we understand each other very well. It was illuminating to realize that it was okay to let go of some people and accept that they were never really meant for me and we would never fit together, but that there were other people out there who would.

“What has reached you was never meant to miss you, and what has missed you was never meant to reach you.” -Prophet Muhammad (SAW)

One of my biggest shocks when I moved into my apartment was the fact that I had to manually get water from a water well because the plumbing had not yet been installed. I was quite annoyed because I lived on the second floor and there were no elevators, so I had to carry my buckets of water up two flights of stairs.

At first, it was difficult and I was really tempted to go back to living with my parents. I prayed daily for Allah to send me a person who would help me out because it was hard to do by myself. Nobody came. So, I continued doing the work alone.

No matter how hard things get, don’t lose hope. He is giving you those challenges because He knows you can handle it.

To my surprise, it got easier. I didn’t move downstairs; I didn’t get smaller buckets; the water well didn’t magically move closer, but it became very easy for me to do the work. I stopped complaining about the situation. I started to enjoy it because it was sort of relaxing and I could feel myself getting stronger.

I realized then, that Allah truly doesn’t give you more than you can handle. Even when it feels overwhelming, He gives you the power to overcome the challenge. He never hands you the question without the solution.

No matter how hard things get, don’t lose hope. He is giving you those challenges because He knows you can handle it.

Allah does not burden a soul with more than it can bear. [Qur’an 2:286]

Oh mankind, indeed you are ever toiling towards your lord, painfully toiling…But you shall meet Him. [Qur’an 84:6]

Believe in yourself, get up, and make it happen. Whatever it is.


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