“The most important thing in life is your family. There are days you love them and others you don’t, but in the end they’re the people you always come home to. Sometimes it’s the family you’re born into. And sometimes it’s the one you make for yourself.”
I keep coming back to these words of Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City Season 2 Episode 15. I think it’s because I am a week away from moving out of the apartment I’ve lived in for the past 3 years. Now I know this doesn’t seem like a long time in the grander scheme of things, but it is. It’s a really long time. It’s the longest I’ve lived anywhere besides my mom’s house, and for the majority of the time, it was with the 3 girls. It was home.
This is the place I came home to from my summer abroad, where I at 50 bagel bites with Madelaine after my first real break-up, where I slept in Erin’s bed when I needed it. This is the first place I constantly had a bottle of wine available and ready, the place where my neighbor’s cat snuck through my bedroom window, the place where we had friends over every week during our Senior year of college to make dinner and hang out. This is the place where Smalls thought I was cracked for buying every season of The Simple Life, until she saw the magic that is Paris Hilton trying to open an ironing board. Every year there were new girls occupying the rooms as each of us took on a new adventure. There were TV binges and puzzles and cuddles and candles.
I cried here, but not as much as I laughed here. I learned what I want to be when I grow up here. I planned my future here. I said “I love you” for the first time knowing what it meant here, and I walked 20 feet down the hall to Erin’s room to tell her right after it happened. It’s the place with the shower with the weird door he called the “penalty box” every time we went in. The place where I first saw Carol dance the Carol way. This is the place where you could get someone to get a $5 margarita with you any Monday or Wednesday.
Last year was the first transition, two of the girls I lived with all through college moved out, and I almost imagine the universe made it happen that way to make this transition easier. This will be the first “life step” I’m not making with any of those original 3 since I was in high school. So many memories were made in this home. So many decisions were made in this home. It’s a place of many “firsts.” I feel like I became who I am now in this place, with the help of this amazing family of girls around me, and I’m terrified to leave.
I have never been so nervous about something like this before. Any “big step” I’ve ever taken, like moving to Disney World or spending a summer in Europe, has been something I was so sure was a genius idea. A friend told me that that might be a good thing that I’m so nervous, that I just have to be like a cat and land on my feet, and maybe (hopefully) he’s right.
Moving on from this familiarity is really scary, but could be just as right as moving out of Mom’s house for college. It’s part of the “next step” in life, I guess. Which can be a really exciting idea if I let it. All I know is that I’m going to take a minute to say a big “thank you” to this place before I go.