Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Thoughts on moving day

Which is...tomorrow.

Well, okay. You got me. It's midnight now, so technically moving day is TODAY. Whatever. I've always said that it's not tomorrow until you've gone to sleep and wake up again.


It's weird. This place was my first real apartment. I had planned on staying longer than a year. I was gonna really settle into myself and my life in this place. I was set.

But then life happened, as it always seems to do, right? Life happened, and we (my roommate and I) had to move out. Say goodbye. She's gone, finished moving out tonight, actually. And I'm moving to a different apartment tomorrow...

...with different roommates... a different neighborhood...

There will be different sounds to get used to. Different smells. Different living arrangements. Different styles of living with new roommates. Different walk to a different T stop. Different commute to work. Different proximity to places I know.

There will be new faces on the street. New neighbors I haven't met. New conditions to get used to. New hangouts to establish.

[Man, reading this back, I make it all sound so bad...]

There are a lot of exciting things about this move, of course. I'm moving away from Cambridge...that's certainly a loss. I've loved living in Cambridge. But I'm moving to Beacon Hill. I've walked past that neighborhood so many times with so many friends and commented on how much I would love to live in that part of Boston. The streets are so quaint. The apartments are small but cozy. The neighborhood is so authentically Boston (at least from my limited experience with the city). My new roommates are really cool, really chill. I have a dishwasher. I have to climb 4 flights of stairs to get to my apartment, after walking up a hill.

[Okay, that last one sounds like a bad thing, and on the days I'm exhausted, it may become one, but think of it the way I do: my stomach will be flat, I'll lose that little bit of flab I've been fighting with for 3 years, and I'll have more energy from the forced exercise I have to do every day. I lived on the 4th floor of a dorm twice in college...freshman and senior years. And both years, I shed pounds like you wouldn't believe, and I felt so alive and ready for the world. Believe me, it'll be great.]

But, despite all that I have to look forward to, I will miss this place. I'll miss the open space. I'll miss laughing at commercials with my roommate. I'll miss the huge parties we had here. I'll miss the space I had to dance around in...and have blues parties in. I'll miss the free laundry in the basement. I'll miss the feeling of living in a house, not just an apartment. I'll miss my homey little neighborhood that reminded me of home in Minnesota so much.

I'll miss a lot. But right now, I can't get myself to focus on that even (let alone trying to focus - and failing - on the things I have to look forward to in my new apartment). Right now, I'm just restless. I want out. My life is packed in a series of labeled boxes, ready to be packed into a car and driven over to my new place. The apartment is barren...stripped of its life. It's rather cavernous and distinctly uninhabited. I've been avoiding this feeling like the plague. This feeling of emptiness as I walk through the hallway and pass by each room. I tend to hole up in my room...the only room left that has enough stuff to still look lived in. It's a scary feeling. There's a sense of finality rushing through this place. An ending being written as I desperately try to look the other way. I can hear the door closing behind me for the last time. I can see the memories start fading into the recesses of my brain, to be called back as hazy but happy reminders of a cherished apartment from my past.

I wonder if it always feels like this when you move out of an apartment. Perhaps not. If you hate a place, you don't generally feel this homesick for it before you even leave. But I can't help but wonder about my restlessness, my premature homesickness, my nostalgic feelings - are they all intensified because this was my first real apartment?

It's certainly not the most profound of questions. People don't go around pondering this thought every day. But seriously, is it because this was the first place I could really call my own? I paid the rent for this place, and the utilities. I lived in it. I helped bring life to these walls, floors, rooms. And now I'm leaving it. I'll take with me some wonderful memories, but I have to say goodbye.

You know, maybe that's what this is all about. Maybe that's why I'm sitting here, unable to sleep, wondering what's on my mind and not really able to fully grasp it. I hate goodbyes. I actually go out of my way to avoid them whenever possible. I'm bad at them. I feel awkward saying all of the things one is supposed to say at a "goodbye" meeting/event/gathering/whatever. I don't know what to do with myself once I've said the actual word (because you always say it before the actual end of whatever situation you're in). I'd rather have "goodbye" be the last thing said, and then people move on to the next thing they're doing (going home, moving away, etc.). Like on the phone. The last thing you say is "goodbye." Then you hang up. It's simple. Real-life goodbyes are awful. But that's exactly what I have to do here. Say goodbye to my current (very soon to be former) roommate. Say goodbye to my wonderful first apartment. Say goodbye to this fabulous neighborhood.

Perhaps I'm just creating a lot of unnecessary melodrama around this whole moving and saying goodbye stuff. I tend to put way too much emphasis on the firsts in my life, and there's never any good reason for it. All that does is skew my perception of what the given "first" actually is.

Whew, I'm a little off-topic now, huh? Perhaps I will end by reiterating a previous question:
Is all this restlessness, premature homesickness, and nostalgia coming at me with greater force because this is (WAS!) my first apartment? Hmmm...

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