Our move date is fast approaching (two more weeks) and I’ve been feeling nostalgic. This is the longest I have lived anywhere. Ever. In my whole life. I’ve been in this apartment almost 4 1/2 years. I moved in as a newlywed and I’m moving out as a mother of a 3-year-old (still married, of course, but no longer a newlywed). A lot has changed. A lot has stayed the same, but I’d say there’s been more change than at any other time in my adult life. In the vein of my Alphabet Series, I’m writing a compilation of all the moves I’ve made in my adult life, since I graduated from college. Moving, a History (Part I):
I graduated with my BS in media from Southwest Missouri State in Springfield, Missouri, just last month. My roommate moved out of the duplex we shared right after graduation, and now I’m moving into my very own place. It’s a small apartment in a big old white house on the corner of Kimbrough and Monroe and it has a (nonworking) fireplace and a bathtub and hardwood floors. And it’s just a ten-minute walk to my boyfriend’s place. I’m going to hang my postcard collection on a string from one end of the living room ceiling to the other and I’m going to listen to Nina Simone all the time and cook dinner and breakfast for me and my boyfriend in the little kitchen and it’s going to be awesome and I can’t wait for the rest of my life to finally start.
The house on Kimbrough had roaches, which was bad enough. But then one morning I was cooking breakfast for my boyfriend and myself and a MOUSE ran across the stove. A mouse! I ran out of the apartment, got in my car, and drove straight to my boyfriend’s place. I didn’t even put our dirty dishes in the sink first. Later that day I found an apartment on Jefferson, right across the street from my boyfriend. It has a big bedroom and a dining room and a deck. I don’t like the carpet on the floor and the kitchen is kind of small, but whatever. It doesn’t have mice (I asked), and I can move in this week. I’m buying a new sofa.
My boyfriend (not the one on Jefferson; that didn’t work out) and I are moving to Chicago together with our three cats (two are his and one is mine). We’ve only been dating like nine months, and I have no idea if we’ll be together forever or what, but we don’t have any expectations or anything so it’s cool. This is an adventure. We found an apartment on the first floor of an old Victorian home on Belmont, in Roscoe Village. It’s a two-bedroom. We’ll each have our own room! Because, why not? We’re not even sure if we’re going to be together forever. This is just an adventure we’re on. The new place has a black-and-white checkered floor in the kitchen, a cool old built-in hutch, a big bay window in the living room, and exposed heating ducts. It’s pretty awesome. I could see us being here a while. A couple years anyway. I’m going to paint my bedroom periwinkle. I’ve always wanted to paint my bedroom walls.
The house on Belmont didn’t work out. It’s too small for all of us, and plus, we had to pay for our own heating and we didn’t realize that was going to cost like $300 a month in the winter. We don’t have that kind of money. Or, at least we didn’t. My boyfriend works at Potbelly sandwich shop, but he just got a big promotion and a raise so things might get a little easier for us, financially. I’ve been working two part-time jobs for like $12 an hour, but I quit both of those jobs and got a new one. This one’s full-time. I’m working at A New Leaf flower shop down on Michigan Avenue, and I have full benefits and everything. I’ve never had full benefits, like with health insurance, so that’s cool.
Anyway, our new place is in Edgewater. It’s also a two-bedroom, but it’s bigger. And even though it costs more, we don’t have to pay for the heat, so it kind of comes out the same. Plus, we’re like five minutes away from the beach. And down the street from the L. And around the corner from Jewel. So, it’s pretty awesome. And the hallway has these really cool lights like you see in galleries, you know? Like, if we hung up some cool artwork, it would totally look like a an art gallery or a wall in a museum or something. And the bathroom is so cool! It has a claw foot tub. And a phone! By the toilet! So, you can be sitting there on the john and, if the phone rings, you can pick it up! Like, no big deal. And I love the blue wallpaper in the bathroom and the cranberry red carpet. I guess some people don’t like carpet in the bathroom, but I do. It makes the whole space feel like a little jewel box and I love it. I’m going to paint my bedroom walls turquoise.
Brian and I broke up. No big surprise there. He was a super nice guy and I’ll miss him (and the cats) but this was like two years coming. He moved out in January to a high-rise condo downtown. I helped him pick out new bedding for his new place, and I helped him pack and unpack a little bit. I told him we could still have dinner together once a week or so. He lives only a couple blocks from UIC, where I’m going to grad school and where I have a night class on Tuesdays that gets out at 8, so maybe I can just walk to his place after and we can make dinner together and watch “American Idol” and it will be like hanging out with a good friend. It will be nice.
I’m moving in with another good friend now. Chad. His roommate moved out too and he isn’t ready to move in with his new boyfriend just yet, and so we decided we’d try living together for a while. His place is great, I love it, but his landlord doesn’t allow cats, so I found us this killer place in Uptown on Magnolia. It has TWO decks. And two living rooms. And two bathrooms! And a dishwasher! I’ve never lived anywhere with a dishwasher before. I’m going to paint my bedroom honey gold and I’m getting new bedding that’s red and my whole theme is like “Arabian Nights.” It’s going to be awesome.
Living with Chad didn’t work out. So I found a new place for myself and his boyfriend moved in to the place on Magnolia. Whatever. My new place is on Winnemac in Andersonville, which is basically where I’ve wanted to live since I moved to Chicago. It doesn’t have a deck, but it has a little back stoop where I’m going to set up a couple chairs and some plants. And the kitchen has a black-and-white checkered floor just like the place on Belmont had!
My new place has a bay window, and a dining room, and it’s a ten-minute walk to the beach. Ok, maybe 15. Whatever, it’s close. I’m painting the kitchen lavender and hot pink. It sounds crazy, I know, but it actually works. Especially with the checkered floor. And I’m painting the dining room spring green and the living room mocha, and the bathroom the same lavender as the kitchen and I’m painting my bedroom honey gold again. I’m staying with the Arabian Nights theme.
By the way, I don’t see Brian for dinner every week anymore. I got a new boyfriend and I just don’t think it’s appropriate. Plus, I don’t really have time.
Living in the place on Winnemac is the longest I’ve lived anywhere. When I moved in, I was in a relationship I hoped would lead somewhere, but it fizzled about nine months later, and for the next 14 months or so I was single. Single, single, single. Oh, I mean, I dated. I was pretty much always dating. But not like exclusively. It was fun. And it was lonely. It got so lonely. I got another cat. That helped a little bit. But I was still lonely. And none of these guys I dated was interested in like really being with me. Or I wasn’t really interested in them. And I started worrying that maybe I had missed my chance at finding someone and that I would always be alone, or at least not with someone in a significant way.
And everything changed. And now I’m moving to NYC to be with him. I’m going to stay at his place for a while until I find a job and my own apartment. Or, hell, if we love living together and it’s going really well, maybe I’ll just stay there, with him.
I’m going to leave all my stuff in storage in Chicago and I’ll send for it if I decide to stay and when I know where I’ll be living. For now, I’m bringing three suitcases and Miles and Simone. And that’s it.
I’m scared. And I’m excited. And I kind of can’t believe I’m doing this. But I’m doing this. And who knows. Maybe this is it. Maybe Drew’s really the one, and I owe it to myself to see. Maybe we’ll be together for a really long time. Maybe we’ll get married and have kids and have adventures for the rest of our lives. At any rate, I’m going to wait a while before I paint any walls.