This little apartment of mine, with all its imperfections, means a whole dang lot to me.
It was five years ago that I moved in, making this the longest I've lived anywhere since my family moved to the east coast when I was 14.
It is the only place I have ever lived -- and will ever live -- completely alone.
In these last five years, in this apartment and in this city, I think I have done more growing up than I did in the first 25 combined.
I remember the spring of 2009. It was a weird time in my life. I dragged my lowest lows and carried my heaviest insecurities up four flights of stairs into this space, where I could be alone with my thoughts and faced with my self. Because I wasn't feeling myself.
It was actually a really hard year. I was truly lost. In navigating the grown-up pieces of life and work and humans in the big city, it took a bit to find my way.
Nobody really prepares you for how stupidly hard your twenties are going to be.
One of the first things I did was paint this on the wall, in the hallway near the door. It was the first aesthetic decision I made, the first step I took toward figuring things out. I welcomed myself home.
I made a home.
I had only a bed and a stack of wooden boxes when I arrived. Finding the objects I would include in my space meant choosing the things I would bring into my life.
And now, it's all just stuff. My stuff. Seemingly endless amounts of it.
Packing this apartment is forcing me to confront all of it. I've collected and amassed and gathered so many things, little details of my history here. Business cards from people I've met. Recipes for someday. Craft supplies for ambitious projects. A lot of junk, yes, but still, pieces of me.
The process of sorting. trashing. treasuring. abandoning. is a bit overwhelming. Part of me is happy to leave all of my things behind, to discard the excesses, to pare it all down to the things I truly love and need, to reduce it all to a new version of myself, the bare bones I want to start with in the new chapter. The other part of me, though, knows how much these things, though simply things, are part of the story. Their only real value is in what they represent to the story that only I really know.
It's bittersweet, as I'm letting it all go. It really is a welcome change to close this chapter. To find long lost objects behind the furniture and realize I don't even want them. To realize how easily I can detach from this space I've made. To paint all the walls back to white and start something new.