Living alone reddit

How to Thrive While Living Alone, According to Reddit


Meredith Dietz

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Photo: Aila Images (Shutterstock)

Walking around naked. Belting show tunes in the shower. Basking in some peace and quiet. There are plenty of perks to living alone. At the same time, there are plenty of concerns, from handling bills, to dealing with emergencies, to generally getting lonely.

Living alone means navigating the trade-off between greater independence and greater responsibility. This recent Reddit thread dove into that tricky territory, providing a ton of “pro tips” for living your best life in your own place. Whether it’s your first time living by yourself, or some pandemic-induced habits have you re-examining your lifestyle, here are the best tips that the good people of Reddit have to offer.

Stay on top of your bills

You don’t have a roommate, parent, or spouse to hold you accountable. A good chunk of comments on the pro-tips thread attested to the need for automatic payments. Then again, there are some bills you might not want to autopay. You can also set up manual reminders, like u/mbnc advises:

Use a to-do app on your phone and set reminders for everything you can predict with any regularity. I get paid on the 15th and last days of the month, so I have reminders in my phone on payday for what needs to get paid out of those checks. If you get bills by mail, have a place on a counter, end table, or something you walk by every day where you keep bills and nothing else.

Another tip from u/orions_shiney_belt: “Figure out the best distribution of bills across the month. Rent/Mortgage, insurance in the first half of the month, then utilities for the second half. Most companies will be willing to move the date due for bills, sometimes as much as 10 days as long as you are in good standing.

The takeaway is to find a system that works for you, since living alone means being solely responsible for rent, utilities, and all other costs of living.

Clean a little bit every day

Try to take a few minutes every day to keep things tidy. As one Redditor puts it: “You don’t have a clean house, you keep a clean house.” This sentiment was one of the most popular in the thread:

  • “Storage space is super important. If something doesn’t have it’s own dedicated storages space it usually ends up being clutter.” (u/DodgeGuyDave)
  • “I like to do small things while I’m waiting around for something. Boiling water for noodles? Sweep the floor and empty the garbage. Something in the oven for 20 minutes? That’s enough time to clean the powder room.” (u/mrs_feather_bottom)
  • “Fix the bed daily, don’t leave dishes in the sink overnight, do basic surface wipe downs (kitchen, bathroom counters). Putting off cleaning just makes it so much worse and more daunting; 15 minutes a day is all it takes to maintain.” (u/BasuraConBocaGrande)
  • “If you’re expecting guests or even want guests to be a possibility: Plan and prepare. Have [toilet paper], paper towels, [feminine hygiene products], food, drinks, snacks, etc. at the ready. A good host is simply someone prepared to host.” (u/thatswhatshesaidxx)

Another tip is to work these mini clean-ups into your day, like when doing some dishes while you’re waiting for coffee to brew, or wiping down the bathroom counter while your shower heats up.

Be prepared with “plunger items”

“Plunger items” are items that you need to buy before the need for them arises. This includes said plungers, smoke alarms, first aid kits, cold and flu medicine, and so on.

Credit for the “plunger items” term goes to this user. Because this is Reddit, sometimes the most useful advice comes from the most NSFW usernames. They write that “hopefully, they’ll sit in a drawer and you’ll never need to use them, but if the need for them ever arises you’ll be so happy that you’re prepared.”

Have a basic medical kit 

Like the preparedness advice above, many Redditors attested to the need for having a decent first aid kit ready when you need it. Buy a pre-made one, or assemble your own with the following basics:

  • Bandages
  • Painkillers
  • Anti-nausea, diarrhea pills
  • Oral rehydration salts
  • Thermometer
  • Ice pack
  • Heating pad

Another reason to stock up on medicine and non-perishable foods before you get sick is to avoid spreading your illness when you have to go out to get supplies.

Learn how to bulk cook and freeze leftovers

Cooking for one is a challenge. I know I always struggle to try new recipes without getting tired of large amounts of single ingredients sold at grocery stores (I’m looking at you, celery. And you, cilantro.) The dominant advice here is to become a master of frozen leftovers:

  • “It’s cheaper to bulk cook/freeze a lot. I always want a variety of things to eat, but shopping for one gets expensive quickly.” (u/InternationalLimit40)
  • “Those single size oven glass trays (you know, the thing you cook lasagna in and such) with a lid are great for this. Make four servings of whatever oven dish you want, only put one in the actual oven and throw the rest in the freezer.” (u/JoeT17854)
  • “It can be lonely and boring to cook for one. Keep easy to make meals in the house so you don’t always have the urge to order delivery. That shit gets expensive. Even just sandwich stuff, pasta, etc. Maybe I’m alone in this, but this would have saved me a ton of money.” (u/tombradysboy)
  • “I bought a vacuum sealer. Best investment ever. Buy in bulk, freeze it, thaw as needed.” (u/Mrferg101)

The key to cooking for yourself is to cook for your future self, too.

Know thy neighbor

It’s easy to slip into feelings of isolation when you live alone. Many commenters wrote about how important it is to be proactive and introduce yourself to the people living around you. Even if you’re not interested in becoming best friends with your neighbor, it’s wise to know who lives around you in case of an emergency. It’s also just a nice thing to do. Commenter u/mbnc wrote up some nice insight into why you might want to create a sense of community where you live:

Get to know your neighbors, especially if you’re in a property with a lot of people in similar life situations. Obviously that can be easier said than done (hint: dogs help a lot), but the hardest part for me in transitioning to adult life after college was not having people to just randomly hang out with at random times, like I could with my roommates. Friends can take more effort to schedule events with and will often end up being relegated to the weekends, but the right neighbors are good for those nights when you just want to have a beer and watch TV with somebody after work. They’re also good for picking up packages, takeout.

Even if you’re not interested in becoming best friends with your neighbor, it’s wise to meet the people who live around you in case of an emergency (for you and for them). It’s also a nice, human thing to do.

Enjoy it

The pandemic turned living alone into a serious cause for concern, but as long as you’re able to go out and connect with people in the world regularly, you can find a certain beauty to spending time with yourself in your own home. I felt u/colpanick put it rather beautifully:

Take some time to enjoy having a place to yourself. Learn a new skill with the freedom to suck without feeling judged, walk around naked, eat something that makes you extremely gassy and stink up the place, go to the bathroom with the door open, make a giant fort out of all of your furniture and blankets. Try whatever else you can think of that you may not be able to do with roommates. It can get lonely sometimes, doing things like this helps you appreciate your living situation.

The responsibilities of living alone can be stressful, but the benefits of alone time are so, so sweet.

One last reminder

While the Reddit thread covered a lot of ground, I want to throw in the single most important solo-living tip I know:

Don’t lock yourself out: Have a system to remember your keys so you aren’t locked out—and have a Plan B in place in case you do still lock yourself out.

Do lock yourself in: Always remember to lock the door behind you when you come home. Windows, too. Even if you live in a safe area, you’ll never be sorry that you took this basic precaution.


This guy's viral Reddit story about a stranger living in his apartment is every single person's nightmare

Though we all love to watch some Home Alone in the weeks before Christmas, a story currently going viral on Reddit is a firm reminder that strangers entering your house without your permission is the stuff of epic, life-shattering nightmares — and that living alone can be really freaking scary.

On Sunday, redditor Ashtonez posted one such nightmare of a story — one that is still, apparently, playing out in real time — to the popular LetsNotMeet nonfiction subreddit. (As of press time, Ashtonez claims to be working with his local police to obtain a report that will satisfy Reddit’s verification standards.)

Basically, what went down is this: the dude’s roommate moved out to join the military, leaving him alone with his two cats and unable to afford his apartment on his own. Eventually, he temporarily pawned the cats off to his parents while he plans a more affordable move … but when that happened, things that went wrong around his house (like lights being on that he swore he’d turned off, doors being left open, food missing from the fridge) became less explainable.

He began a graveyard shift in tech support, and when his job agreed to allow him to work from home a couple of weeks ago, things started to get even scarier. First he found his balcony door partially unlocked, which wouldn’t be that creepy on its own. Then $3,000 was charged to his credit card while he was still at work and it was in his possession, and then — woof, this one’s scary — he heard someone picking his lock at 3 a.m. while he was home.

Then, finally, the nightmare kicked in: nestled behind his Christmas tree on Sunday, he found a black duffel bag containing “a change of clothes, sunglasses, shoes, toiletries and a notebook” … and the notes contained within said notebook are way, way creepier than any creepypasta we’ve ever seen on Reddit. false

"There were notes about me. What hours/days I worked, notes about my cats, and updated notes that they were no longer there and the date, my fucking credit card number! As I went further and further back in the notes, I found two words, circled multiple times 'Balcony Door.' Which I assume is how the person entered my apartment for the first time. This creep had been living in my apartment while I've been at work for the past month and I didn't even know it! The worst part is, that I was in my apartment at the same time as this guy, at some point, and didn't even know it. That's the only way he would have gotten my credit card number, and my house key to make a copy somewhere!

As many Redditors pointed out, seeing the words “heavy sleeper” written in a mysterious notebook found in your home has got to be the worst experience a singleton apartment renter could ever imagine.

The latest update to this story is that cops have confirmed that the renter’s old roommate is not the culprit, as he’s still in basic training. They’ve also found the person who used his credit card, so it looks like this very strange story might have a happy-ish ending for the poor dude who is spending his holidays without his cats but with a damn stranger shacking up in his apartment.

We’ll post updates as this story develops, but for now, good luck to all of you “heavy sleepers” trying to get some decent-shut eye tonight.

12 tips for those who live alone

1. Decide who you want to be

Use three adjectives to describe the kind of person you want to be. Perhaps, over time, the image will change, but the very fact of its presence is very important: the chosen qualities will serve as a value guide and the basis for decisions and actions. Perhaps some qualities will be relevant for a short time, for a specific task or goal. Others will stay with you for a long time. Decide for yourself. Adjectives don't have to be serious. Perhaps you have experienced difficult times, so cheer yourself up.

Think about whether you want to be: positive, courageous, kind, skillful, strong, motivated, calm, optimistic, wise, gentle, loving, resilient, generous, compassionate, open, efficient, friendly, active, energetic, patient, happy , generous, passionate, disciplined, responsible, caring.

Act like the person you would like to be, and eventually you will be. Be your own beacon and guide.

2. Control your reactions

Very often you will have to mobilize all your internal resources in order to remain strong and courageous. You must admit that you cannot run away from unpleasant emotions and do not shrug them off. You have to face them, recognize these feelings, understand them properly and learn how to control them.[…]

It is very important to remember this when people hurt your feelings - intentionally or accidentally. They themselves are not always aware of the impact of their words and actions. At such moments, I try not to forget that people only project their own attitude towards themselves onto me. Impulsively reacting to the remark of the interlocutor, you give him your strength. If I see that a person is really trying to hurt me, then I mentally raise a shield with a mirror turned in his direction to protect myself and show him that now he is not talking about me, but about himself.

Of all the pieces of advice I've received in my life, one of the most helpful has been this: you can't influence how people treat you or change certain situations, but you can control how you react to them.

You are unable to change the direction of the wind, but you are able to control your sails.

The same goes for living alone: ​​perhaps you would like to share shelter with another adult or have a family, but the reality is that there is no one around, so it will depend on your attitude to the current situation how joyful it will be for you such a life.

As my own life experience shows, we are hardened by difficulties. A grain of sand in a shell turns into a pearl. Therefore, perceive any troubles - and they will be - as veils, passing through which you will become stronger and wiser. And if you urgently need to throw out seething emotions, take a dozen eggs and go for a walk in the forest; throw eggs at the trees with all your might - and feel how satisfaction replaces anger!

3. Look down on loneliness

The very fact that there is no one around does not mean anything. The problem is the feeling of loneliness that appears under different masks. It can hide behind sadness, apathy, indifference, fatigue, depression. It is palpable. It is real. So it just won't go away. How to overcome it?

Understand that this is normal. Accept your loneliness and move on. There is no escape from the feeling of loneliness. It is a fact. Everyone I talked to while working on the book touched on the topic of loneliness. Everyone experiences this feeling: some more, some less. It is as if you are driving through hilly terrain and from time to time descend into dark lowlands. This feeling is to be expected. The main thing is not to linger in the lowlands, not to set up camp there.

You can fight the coming feeling of loneliness by moral and physical means. The former are much more important. You can, of course, physically surround yourself with people, but your sense of self has nothing to do with them. This is an inner attitude. You can't hide from him; you will only run away from yourself. So accept, reconcile and live with it further.

Accept that feelings of loneliness, like happiness, sadness, death, birth, love, and delight, are part and parcel of being human.

Humble yourself and move on.

4. Replace “loneliness” with “solitude”

Paul Tillich wrote: “Language wisely separates the two sides of one phenomenon. There is a word "loneliness" which means suffering without others. And there is the word "solitude", which means bliss without others. Turn away from loneliness with its criticism and isolation. Face its friendlier brother, solitude.

Solitude is closer to a conscious decision and allows you to maintain self-esteem. Solitude is your personal choice, while loneliness is a condition imposed by circumstances.

An old Buddhist saying says, "A tenth of an inch apart, and heaven and earth are separated." Solitude and loneliness are also separated by a tenth of an inch, but for our sense of self, it is crucial.

When you live alone, you have to rethink your worldview, and this is not all the changes. Don't even think about considering life alone as a prison sentence that you have to serve. Change the angle of view. Reframe the concept. Solitude is not a stone around the neck, but a protective capsule. A means to an end. Learn to draw strength from it - and you will be rewarded.

5. Happiness at will

“If you want to be happy, be happy,” said Tolstoy. He knew something about life even before scientists came to grips with the study of the problem of happiness, and the authors raced to write their practical guides for those who want to find the joy of life.

The world is as you see it. So if you feel like you missed your chance or that life has treated you unfairly, that is your reality. I'm not saying you should think positively with a fake smile on your face, but research (and common sense) indicates that a positive mental attitude leads to a positive outcome. In the morning, as soon as your feet touch the floor, think about how you would like to live the day ahead.

Experts have proven that happiness contributes to success, and not vice versa.

6. Increase your strength with a totem

We lonely people are like aerial acrobats in a circus performing without a safety net. Criticism and caustic comments can throw us off balance in no time, and I never cease to be surprised and upset by their number. Some come from strangers, some come from friends and enemies pretending to be friends. Most of these people do not know what it means to live alone, and do not even know how much their statements hurt us.

Okay, don't worry, life goes on. Without false optimism, I am sure that difficulties harden us and give us the opportunity to learn something, even if it may take many years to master the lesson. Perhaps our abusers are learning something too.

We must become thick-skinned. Wrap yourself up in an imaginary protective cloak and let it ward off all hurt.

I learned resilience from three animals and began to consider them my totems. This is a wild dog, a lioness and a bison.

Wild dog Solo

When I was a child, I was given a book by Hugo van Lawick "Solo". It tells about a puppy of a hyena-like dog. After the death of the brothers in a fight with other dogs, Solo is left alone. She is nailed to a strange flock and tries her best to keep up with her. The strangers ignore her, but she doesn't give up. For me, this dog with burning eyes and ears torn from numerous fights is the embodiment of resilience. Her story serves as an example for me.


During that period of my life, when the divorce proceedings were going on, I accidentally came across an image that made a deep impression on me. On a bas-relief in the British Museum, I saw an Assyrian lioness: wounded, she continues to fight. Now I see myself as a lonely lioness, rejuvenated, restrained and proud.


Did you know that during a snow storm, of all living creatures, only bison instinctively turn around and go straight into the heart of the storm, knowing that this is the shortest escape route. Maybe I'm too anthropomorphic, but it's impossible not to fall in love with an animal that, without batting an eyelid, rushes towards difficulties.

Solo's tenacity, the lioness's desperate resistance, and the buffalo's ability to face adversity remind me that I must not succumb to the negativity of pessimists, spiteful critics, and imaginary friends.

7. Turn your lonely life into a project

Why not write a book about your story of living alone or document it? What helps you? What advice would you give to other people in the same situation? What challenges did you face and what lessons did you learn from them? How did the process of changing self-awareness from “I am alone” to “I am on my own” develop?

Many women have described their experiences of solitary life, including Joan Anderson ("A Year By the Sea"), Ann-Morrow Lindbergh ("The Gift of the Sea") and Alix Cates Schulman ("Drinking in the Rain" [ Drinking the Rain]). Read. Perhaps you will find something inspiring in these books.

A fulfilling life in solitude is an inner attitude that will not form by itself. Explore new experiences as if you were in an unfamiliar country, and draw a map of your life on your own as if it were an island. What is good about this island, and where are the problems? What beauties are you proud of? What areas have not yet been explored?

8. Be kind to yourself

We women are prone to severe self-criticism, and it seems to me that living alone exacerbates this quality of ours. Sometimes I feel like the central mast of the circus dome - when I have to be responsible for everything at once - and I do not always successfully cope with this load. We demand too much of ourselves, and when we fail to live up to our own expectations, our self-esteem is greatly undermined.

Not everyone is going smoothly. So don't think about others. Congratulate yourself on the progress you've made and don't be afraid of what's yet to be done. Everything will work out.

Each of us has our own path, and it is different for everyone.

9. Find your ikigai - your goal

The Japanese have such a thing as ikigai - the reason that makes them get up in the morning. This is a healthy human craving for what fills his life with meaning; in other words, the goal. To find it means to find the direction of movement; it's like marking a destination on Google Maps.

If you do not set yourself such global tasks as the search for a higher goal or vocation, if you are not up to it at all, do not worry. Not everyone is born for a great mission.

There are many threads of experience in our life that point the way to the goal. It happens that it is already known, but perhaps hiding in the periphery or in the past. Look into the depths of your consciousness and search properly. The goal does not have to be global and great. The main thing is that it suits you. She will be found; And don't be too hard on chasing her. Life is constantly talking to us and giving clues. Our job is to listen.


Be your own good company, inspiration and support group

You are your own team. One person team. You spend more time with yourself than anyone else, so try to be good company to yourself. I'm lucky. I'm good on my own. But if everything is not right for you, how can you improve the situation?

People rarely compliment or praise others, so fill that vacuum yourself. Don't wait for someone to tell you "well done" or "great job". Give yourself a regular pat on the back. You do not lose heart and move on - this is already worthy of praise.

11. Shut the door in the face of everything negative

If you are tormented by negative thoughts, do not dismiss them, but acknowledge them. You can even give them names if that helps: “you are pettiness”, “you are impatience”, “you are tired and frustrated”. Now, with Nora's determination, slam the door in their faces so they don't ruin your life anymore.

Instead of complaining about how and why you got into this or that situation, find the nearest reflective surface and say out loud what you are going to do about this situation.

Of course, everything happens in life. I don't live in a fantasy world and I don't wear rose-colored glasses. My heart still shrinks a little at the sound of my “thank you” to the cashier at the supermarket, said in a voice hoarse from a day of silence. And sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and I can't sleep because of the stress. I miss the comforting feeling of having someone around to rely on.

The thoughts in your head are not inactive, and the negative is always doing its dirty work. They whisper in your ear, “You are old. You are not pretty. You are a loser. You are fat. Is it possible to love you? What use are you to the world?" Women, on the other hand, are very strong by nature, and it is doubly insulting that we voluntarily become hostages of these vile voices in our heads.

Fight them as best you can, do not succumb to their corrupting influence. We must depower them, otherwise they will take root and bloom luxuriantly. Don't let yourself wallow in habitual dissatisfaction with everything and everything: it's an emotional dead end. Pull yourself out of the swamp, shake off the dirt and move on. You choose your own thoughts.

12. Act as if…

The words we choose greatly affect our sense of self, our approach to many things, the result of our actions. The more often you say “I want…” or “I need…”, the less likely you are to get what you want. Instead, act as if everything has already happened and you are reaping the rewards. Replace "I would like to be successful" with "I am successful" and "I would like to have a job that I like" with "I have a great job" and act accordingly. You will immediately notice a dramatic change in your attitude to the world. This mental attitude is much more likely to lead you to success.

I am confident in the effectiveness of this technique, because I myself was forced to look for a full-time job when I was already over fifty, and everything worked out. Now I have to do it again. A harmful inner voice whispers: "I'm too old, no one will hire me." I understand that such prophecies turn into a disaster, so I deliberately changed my internal attitude to “Now I bring a lot of benefit to my clients. I am calm about my abilities, I am confident in them, I have significant valuable experience behind me.”

However, sitting at home doing positive auto-training, reading The Secret and eating donuts, I'm unlikely to find a job. To do this, I have to shake up my connections and send out a resume with a compelling cover letter. Now I approach this task with confidence and act as if...

If you can't do it, try to rephrase the problems in a positive, pragmatic way, look at them as tasks for which you just need to find solutions.

  • Was: "I can't afford it." It became: “How can I make it so that I can afford it?”
  • It was: "I can't." It became: “How can I be able to?”
  • It was: "It seems difficult to me." It became: "I am working in this direction."
  • Was: "I should have." It became: "I will do it."

In general, the idea is clear.

This too shall pass

When problems pile up all at once and you start to think that your boat is about to fill with water, put things into perspective. Whatever difficulties you are facing right now, this is just a tiny dot on the line of your life. In a year or five, today's events will mean much less or be forgotten altogether. You are stronger than you think.

Australian writer Jane Matthews believes that the ability to be alone and at the same time enjoy life is a simple skill, but it requires some effort and mental work. It's like learning a foreign language. In his book Life in Solo Style. How to live alone and enjoy it,” she sincerely talks about what helped her.


Read also 🧐

  • 13 tips to enjoy being alone
  • How not to suffer from loneliness
  • Why we are afraid of loneliness

How to learn to be alone

August 16, 2021 Life

An inspiring experience that proves that time alone is priceless.

Liana Gergeli

Author, content strategist and brand marketing expert. She has written for HuffPost, InStyle, Thought Catalog and Medium.

I go to the cinema alone. I visit museums alone. Dinner alone (and yes, I have resisted the temptation to scroll through Instagram* while I wait for my order). I sit alone in a coffee shop and leaf through a magazine. I take a train ticket alone and go to a new city, where I walk all alone.

I understand that this may seem very strange. You probably think that I'm a nice weirdo, and also very lonely. It's funny, but I was much more lonely before I started spending time by myself. The constant feeling that I was not at ease, and the feeling that I needed the people around me like air - this was loneliness. The feeling of constant anxiety and fear that the guy will leave me - this is loneliness. And spending time alone is peace. This is interesting. And it boosts self-esteem. And now I will tell you how I learned to spend time alone.

1. Just do it. And don't try to look cool

Everyone is tired of Nike's cliche, but still Just do it. Since this all started. How embarrassing it was to go to the cinema alone for the first time and sit there with a backpack on the next chair, pretending to other cinema visitors that the guy went out for drinks and was about to return. This feeling will pass, as will the fear of people who supposedly think something about why you spend time alone.

Do not try to be cool in the eyes of others. Most likely, you will never meet these strangers again in your life, and they will discuss the film, not you.

2. Make a list of your favorite things. And don't wait for anyone

I realized that I should spend time by myself when there were things I wanted to do, but friends who could keep me company were always busy or had other plans.

If your favorite band is about to play the only show in town and none of your friends can go, don't waste your chance to make your dream come true. You can wait forever for others to be free, and in the end realize that the moment has passed. Plus, planning something for yourself doesn't require a bunch of messaging and stupid group chats.

So take a piece of paper and write down every thing you love and want to do but never did because there was no one around. Now this excuse is not accepted.

3. Make a schedule. Don't cancel your plans

Once a week I schedule an evening to spend by myself. That means I'll go to the movies alone, or I'll wallow in my pajamas and watch Sex and the City. The line in the schedule serves as written confirmation that I should please myself, and will help me not to change my plans if something unexpected happens. I do not want to refuse friends, but now I am learning to be my own friend.

It's a great relief to have one evening devoted exclusively to yourself, when you don't have to worry about whether all your friends' plans will coincide, when you don't have to leave the house if you want to lie on the couch. I spend time with myself and do what makes me happy. No stress. No hard decisions. It's easy and doable. And most importantly, this is a chance to be honest with yourself: to decide what I really want, and what is easier said than done.

Last year I became single of my own accord. Not because of circumstances. Not because no one wanted to communicate with me or I could not find a suitable companion.

Many people find it hard to believe that I refuse to date. And often I look weird in the eyes of my grumpy old aunt or college friends.

Why do some people choose to be single of their own accord? To spend time alone? Am I missing out on an important part of my life if I don't Tinder and date? What if that one walked by and I didn't notice because I was too busy with myself?

I'm not ashamed of my loneliness to say out loud that dating myself has been the most stable, non-anxious, relaxing relationship imaginable. No need to wait for a response to a message (or agonize over whether my message was too flirtatious, too demanding, too wordy), and never even thought that the other person might misunderstand me.

This doesn't mean I won't date other people in the future - I definitely will.

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