I have moved out of my apartment.
I feel sad.
With all my stuff moved out, the place echoes in a very lonely way.
When I moved into this apartment, I was 29.
I lived in this apartment 8.5 years. Other than the house I grew up in, where I lived until I was 13, this is the place I have lived the longest. In many ways, I became an adult in this apartment.
It was the first place I lived alone, without roommates. Now that I am married, it may remain the only place I ever lived alone. I hope so.
It was the first place I owned.
It was the first place where I had doormen--a staff that, in a sense, worked for me.
I bought real furniture for it.
I painted the walls bright colors, because white walls scream "rented apartment" to me.
I bought shades for it, and new faucets, and a new toilet, and other things homeowners do. I caulked the bathroom sink.
While I lived here, I changed. I lost a significant amount of weight. I started to care about fashion and shoes. I read less. I exercise more. I learned to knit. I go out to eat a lot. I became a New Yorker.
While I lived here, I achieved a certain success in my career. I was no longer the assistant, I became a boss. I was an expert. I was asked for my opinion. I was considered very valuable to my employer.
While I lived here, I met a lot of men; I dated a lot. I met the man who broke my heart, and I met the man who is the love of my life.
While I lived here, I enjoyed NYC, I grew to consider it home. And I grew quite tired of its unique pressures.
On September 11, 2001, I brought my boss home with me, because she couldn't go home: the trains weren't running to the suburbs. My boss was a nasty woman, but I couldn't leave her alone in the office, so I took her home. We sat on the couch and watched the TV all day, until about 4:30 when they announced the trains were running, and she could leave. For years afterwards, people would say to me, "I heard you took so-and-so home on September 11! I couldn't imagine having her in my personal space!" But honestly, she was never nasty to me again after that.
When I bought the apartment, I had never had a serious boyfriend. I hadn't even dated much, really. Throughout my twenties, I thought I wanted to be alone for the rest of my life. When I bought the apartment, I thought there was a decent chance I would live in it until I died.
I am on such a different path than I envisioned coming to when bought this apartment.
It feels different moving out of this apartment, different from moving out of every other place I've lived. Every other place before this was temporary. I knew I would not be there long. This place was mine, it was home.
I am a little sad to leave it, even though I am excited to start the next phase of my life. I was happy here. I was, by some measures, successful here. The life I lived here was a life I knew I could do, was a person I knew I could be. It was safe. It was comfortable. I am a person who likes safe and comfortable.
It makes me wonder what I will think 8.5 years from now. What life will I have then, that I never saw coming from this end?