Over the weekend I moved, of all things. We’d been looking at places, weighing the merits of a three-bedroom, a two-bedroom, or two one-bedrooms--being in a triad complicates housing, among other things--before deciding on the last option, but the move was still an almost complete surprise. We filled out an application for a one-bedroom in a designated low-income complex, which turns out to be an incredibly complicated process, and it took a week to get all the paperwork—proving our residency, ability to pay rent, income, job status, etc.—sufficiently completed. Eventually, however, we were declared officially poor (we're half a yuppie, my boyfriend says) and on Friday we were finally approved; because of my work schedule, we decided against all common sense to move on Monday.
Whew, is all I have to say. I feel like I haven’t sat still in days, between work and moving and cleaning the old place and being in the very baby beginning stages of setting up the new apartment. But even though this apartment is still overrun with full boxes and empty bookshelves (Don’t even freaking ask me how many boxes of books we had. A LOT) and my spices are all buried beneath some blankets in the giant box that nearly killed me getting up the stairs, I’m already ridiculously happier than I was. I think this apartment will be an excellent argument for space’s impact on mental health.
I wrote a few months ago about how my apartment, my old apartment, had gone rather suddenly from being just a space I lived in to being a home. Well, shortly after that it went from being a home to being something else entirely. My space, while perfect for one inhabitant, proved to be entirely too small for two cohabitants (two and a half, really, since my girlfriend was visiting for about half of every week), two cats, and more books than you can shake a stick at. The apartment went from cozy to claustrophobic, and my insomnia and the lack of a second room to flee to led to me spending many, many nights quelling my restlessness in the bathroom, writing with my back braced against the tub. It made me so sad, watching a place I loved become something akin to prison, someplace that made me itch to leave almost as soon as I entered. People would laugh when I told them I’d spent the wee hours hanging out in my own bathroom, but really it made me deeply sorrowful and more than a little crazy-feeling. If you aren’t home when you’re home, what’s left?
Here, even with the boxes, there is already space. It’s been so long since I’ve lived somewhere with, for instance, a hallway. There are three closets. I set up the bones of my kitchen tonight and my god, I choked up: a full-sized, brand-new stove and refrigerator greeted me when we got here, and there’s even room for a bookshelf. My cookbooks are finally home as well, it seems. It’s almost alarming, the space. A coffee table, really? I am so in love with the idea of what this can become for me, geographically and creatively, that I can barely wait. I hope to be writing at my desk in the living room soon instead of the bathroom; I hope to drink coffee on the couch in the morning and write my goddamn heart out. The worst part about losing my sense of home was that I couldn’t write a word. I hope the drought is over, or at least beginning to be over.
But here’s to new homes, to sharing space with loved ones while preserving your own life, to being happy where you are. Loving where I am makes me want to love the whole damn world, and having a home makes all the difference. I think I’ll love it here.