A Letter Of Immature Advice For My Sister, Who Moved Away And Lives Alone

A few weeks ago, my younger sister’s educational pursuits caused her to move from our parents’ house in our hometown to live alone in a new one. She asked me how I initially dealt and still deal with this dynamic, so I wrote her this letter.

Dear Holly,

Living alone may not seem ideal (propping up half the ping pong table and playing by yourself like Forrest Gump is no substitute for the real thing), but if you embrace it by doing stuff you weren’t able to under parental or roommate supervision, it can be pretty gnarly. Getting your own place means you’re growing up — it’s a huge part of the maturation process. And it can be gratifying to combat this by doing immature things sometimes, just because you can.

Know what I did yesterday when I came home from work?

I stripped down to my boxers and t-shirt, turned on the television and went to the kitchenette to make myself a motherfucking chocolate milkshake. A big ass one that almost exploded out of the blender. We’re talking three times your average serving size, easy. I brought it back to the TV and took a huge swig of it while I perched my right foot on my coffee table — like I was Captain Morgan — and vigorously scratched my pale and unsightly man thigh. I finished the beverage and put it in the sink. Didn’t even clean it. It’s still in there.

After that, I did some laundry out of necessity. This chore made me hungry, so I cooked myself some Brinner. Yep. Breakfast for dinner. Not that wild, right? Well, what if I told you I’ve eaten Brinner seven of the past eight nights, on the real? The only exception has been last Saturday, when I had a French dip and enough cans of Budweiser to make Dad proud of me.

To recap: I had dessert before dinner, put my dirty foot on the coffee table and didn’t do my dishes. Then I ate the exact same meal I’d had on a streak of consecutive nights. I can do these things, because I am an adult and I am alone. I have no roommate to make fun of me for “having a little Captain in me,” (even though that stance is really just a great way to stretch the hip flexor) and Mom’s vigilant eyes don’t extend to my apartment. Or to yours. If she saw my methods of domestication, she might have an aneurysm.

I understand that living alone may be tough. You think way too much about pretty much everything when you spend elongated periods of time by yourself — your present, potential and past (especially past) relationships; significant others, how your recent haircut makes you look kind of like Lloyd Christmas and how this might affect the level of seriousness with which others view you until it grows back, why boobs are good, if the potential cardiovascular benefits and better taste of red wine should outweigh the reduction in teeth staining you’d experience if you switched to white, how you can ensure you don’t slip and fall in the shower when there’s nobody else to help you, the true ramifications of your carbon footprint. Things like that.

But, sis, try to enjoy it while you can. I’m hopeful it’s temporary for both of us. I won’t always be the only person in the living room tearing up when I see a commercial like that Google one where the guy sets up an email address for his baby girl as a digital scrapbook for her to look at when she gets old enough. Someday, you’re probably going to have a husband, and maybe some children. Then you’re going to wish, sometimes, that you could go back to that time when you were able to do whatever you wanted.

But if you falter, just contact me like you did a few minutes ago. You can tell me you’re lonely, just like you can tell our parents and brothers you’re lonely. There are few people in this world who can’t empathize with you about the pains of loneliness, and that empathy is nice. Truth be told, I had a long conversation with Mom a few days ago about how lonely I am here, far away from you guys and my oldest friends, and she understood. But then I snuck up to a roof I wasn’t supposed to be on and remembered how liberating it was not to have someone tell me not to.

And if you feel a need to check underneath your bed for monsters or aliens, go ahead, because nobody is going to see you. If you need justification, just tell yourself you were doing a couple of pre-slumber push-ups while furtively glancing to your side. I can’t think of a better “two-birds-one-stone” combo than ensuring personal safety while also giving the pectorals a surprise late night shock.


Scooter TC mark

image – Marc Majcher


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  • Sarah

    YOU’RE for the love of god. 

    • http://twitter.com/no_cazador hunter ray

      srsly fuck u

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=9383035 Scott Muska

      It’s getting fixed. Thanks for the heads up. Can’t believe I did that.

    • Emily

      Come on……

  • http://www.facebook.com/jesperdahl Jesper Dahl

    This is fucking adorable.

  • SusanDerkins

    Nice job, older brother. 

  • http://twitter.com/ingenuegle Egle Makaraite

    You’re an awesome older brother.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1363230138 Michael Koh


  • Enah Cruz

    This is just cute, sweet and awesomely true.

  • Guest

     And if you feel a need to check underneath your bed for monsters or
    aliens, go ahead, because nobody is going to see you. If you need
    justification, just tell yourself you were doing a couple of pre-slumber
    push-ups while furtively glancing to your side. I can’t think of a
    better “two-birds-one-stone” combo than ensuring personal safety while
    also giving the pectorals a surprise late night shock.

    Evocative, awesome, YAY

  • steph


  • Wes

    “Getting your own place means YOU’RE growing up …”

  • Ian

    So, before you wrote this personal, heartfelt letter to your younger sibling, were you planning all along on posting it up here for thoughtcatalog girls to fawn over and tell you how sweet and awesome of an older brother you are? 

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=9383035 Scott Muska

       Shit dude you caught me.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=9383035 Scott Muska

       Shit dude you caught me.

  • http://twitter.com/keck41 Katelynn

    Loved this and Scott…let me know if you ever want to party at Seacrets

  • Holly

    Thank you Scotty, I really appreciate it. I love you big brother :)

  • Anonymous

    I love this. The part about walking around with no decent pants on is so true.

  • Giangardella 6

    This was great. My friend linked this to me because I just got my own shitty little studio and within a week the contents of the entire apartment complex’s kitchen sink was coming through mine and flooding my kitchen and carpet. Basically I’ve been pretty down about living by myself and I miss my mom and dad and my dog and this article made me feel better about all the possibilities of living on my own. Thank you!

    • giangardella 6

      by the way i wasn’t too familiar about how the commenting process worked so sorry i attached a random picture when i meant for it to be my icon and i put my email when i didn’t know it would show…i apologize!

  • http://www.nosexcity.com NoSexCity

    You’re pretty okay as far as big brothers go, it seems. Wish I’d had someone to write me an email like this when I first moved out on my own.

  • Danielle G

    I lived alone for 3 months while my roommate lived in HI, I checked under the bed everynight– I justified it with robbers but we all know the truth. 

  • indra

    i wish my brother had been sober enough to write something like this to me when i emailed him in search of advice.  even though it’s 5 years late and from a stranger on the internet, it’s still awesome and helpful  i’ve saved it.  you’re a cool bro.

  • http://goldenday.tumblr.com Kia Etienne

    good job, bro. so fucking cute.

  • Mary Ann

    Oh Scott…where did I go wrong? But seriously, you did a great thing for your sister. As always, I found your writing to be humouous and endearing.

  • Donna

    To Scott & Holly….any time you need advice about living alone, just ask the “old maid” in the family.  I’ve been doing it longer than I care to admit.  It takes some getting used to, but it can be fulfilling.

    By fulfilling, I mean more than having giant milkshakes or breakfast for dinner, although I have enjoyed those things, too.  Take time to think about life, do some reading, or just sit back & enjoy having the remote control to yourself in a nice, quiet place.

    When you come from a family of 6, like we have, quiet takes some getting used to.  I savor it now.  I’m still a “hopeful” romantic that I’ll meet the man of my dreams, but if I don’t, I know I’ll be OK.

    Just call friends or family (you have my number) when you’re feeling blue (yes, call, it’s a better remedy than texting for the lonelies).  Go out & visit these people closest to you if you can.  Then go back home & enjoy the peace and quiet!

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