I'm currently reading No Place Like Home: A Memoir in 39 Apartments by Brooke Berman. I'd never heard of this author before or the book, but I saw it online and it caught my eye. I've been wanting to read more memoirs, and this sounded so perfect for me. It's about a girl who moves out to New York when she's 18 and is constantly moving from apartment to apartment, trying to find her way. Since I, myself, have grown to be such a fan of re-locating, I thought I would relate to this girl. And sure enough, 37 pages in, I'm hooked.
It brought me to the realization that I lived in six different places in 2010. That's quite a few! So as a year-end kind of thing, I thought I'd write my own little mini memoir:
In January 2010, I was living in an off-campus apartment in St. George with two roommates whom I couldn't stand. The weather was bleak, and all I really remember about that time was being miserable. I stayed in my room most of the day or went to Starbucks to read and do homework. Anything to avoid my roommates. It wasn't long until I realized I couldn't live like that anymore. I had to get out.
It just so happened that Ryan and mine's friends Creed and Brittany were moving in and getting their own place together. It was a basement apartment with two bedrooms and no kitchen. They offered to have us take the second bedroom, and we said we'd think about it. But the first time we visited, they had a cat, and I left with my eyes swelled to the size of tennis balls. But once they got rid of the cat, I started thinking that maybe we should move in. Ryan and I wanted to live together, it would get me away from my roommates, and just maybe it would improve my all-around situation. And looking back, I'm not sure if it did, and I'm not sure if it didn't. All I can say is it was one hell of a few months. (Literally, that's all I can say, or I'll be in big trouble.)
Come April or so, Creed and Brittany wanted to move out, so Ryan and I had to as well. In a way we were ready to. At least I was. So I was left to return to my apartment with my old roommates, which I still had a contract to. Technically I had both apartments at the same time. (And that wouldn't turn out to be the only time that happened.) I endured another month with my roommates, went to my first appointment with a psychiatrist, got some pills, never took them, and finished my first year of college in one fell swoop. I was out of there literally hours after my last exam.
So where did I go now? My parents'. Back to Parowan. The plan was to move to Salt Lake City at the end of July. But Ryan and I took a trip up to SLC to look at apartments and found one we liked that had to be rented out at the end of June. So my stay with my parents was cut short, and I was thrilled. Moving to Salt Lake seemed like the grand adventure that every teenager dreams of. Whenever I visited downtown, I fell in love. That love affair is still going - every day. And that summer really was a dream. Looking back now, it could have been anyone's dream! I had an apartment with my boyfriend, I was unemployed, not in school, and basically I just explored the city for the entire summer. We attended the Twilight Concert Series every Thursday, I turned 19, and I discovered new loves of mine like the Food Network and thrift store shopping. I was constantly on the lookout for jobs, and constantly applied, but no luck came my way.
I started school in late August. It wasn't long until I quit. I don't want to explain the whole story, but I'm not a college dropout. I'm going back in two weeks. But ultimately, I found myself not in school and unemployed. So I pursued the job search more diligently, and after about a month, I did something right. I got a job at one of my favorite restaurants, and life felt almost whole. Something was missing.
My love affair with downtown SLC has mostly to do with the history, the old buildings, the city-ness of it all. The apartment I was in was built in the 1950s and it just kind of depressed me, to be honest. The stark white walls. The kitchen that attracted nats for absolutely no reason. I missed the romance and adventure of my relationship. I felt like it disappeared in thin air when we lived together. So I thought, "I want to make that feeling last just a little bit longer." I'll be honest: I will probably move back in with Ryan in a year or so. And we will probably get married in two or three years. But before then, I want to live on my own. I know it's not for everyone, but for me, personally, I believe that most people should live alone for at least a little while, once in their lives. I wanted to know what it was like, and honestly, I couldn't even tell you quite yet. But I'll get to that later.
I moved into a tiny, miniscule apartment in the Avenues. Ryan moved in with his old friend in the Avenues as well. We're seven blocks away from each other. It's nice. My apartment is basically one small room, plus an even smaller bedroom off to the side. The bathroom is too small for anyone larger than myself. I fit in it, but somebody a little bit larger would probably get annoyed very quickly. It literally goes: shower,sink,toilet. No space inbetween. I tell myself I love this place. I will make it my own. It will be adorable.
I began to do so, but my work schedule usually kept me away from my apartment most of the time anyway. I just slept there. But one day, the bulletin board in my building posted that a new unit had opened up and was available for rent: 4A. My curiosity took me up the stairs. Long story short, 4A kicked 2C's ass. And the rent was a mere $5 more a month. I paid my managers a visit and switched apartments.
And that brings me to my current residence. I feel more at home here than in 2C by far. Do I feel more at home here than I did living with Ryan? I'm not sure yet. He is my home. And one day we will have a home together. We talk about it all the time actually. But right now, this experience is something I need for myself. And so far, it's been positive. My neighbors here on the top floor are all actually really friendly. They knock on my door at 11 at night with shot glasses in hand, just to say hi and see if I want to chill. My work schedule prevents this unfortunately. And soon school will too. But balancing work and play is something I want to improve on anyway. I want to challenge myself, and I want to grow. And I promise you, I WILL make this apartment my very own :) I love it here. See my "Independent Living" blog for more on that.
This year was a growing experience for me, for sure. I can't wait to see what 2011 brings. As far as I know, I'm going to SLCC in the spring, working in the summer, and starting at the U in the fall! I'm even more excited to see what happens for me after I graduate at the U. And I can tell, that's going to get here quicker than I can imagine.
I didn't try taking very good pictures today, but I really liked my outfit :)
Probably no more posts for the next two days, so Merry Christmas! I had Christmas with Ryan tonight; we watched Harry Potter at Dolcetti Gelato, had dinner at Pago, went to the Zoo Lights which sucked, and opened presents. I love these kind of days with him :) Tomorrow I'm heading to Parowan to have family Christmas. Lots and lots and lots of love. <3