I have lived in this shared one bedroom apartment with my craigslist roommate for close to three years. I have stared out at the dirt and mildew stained walls outside my window thousand of times thinking about my life and existence and the future. I keep feeling like I will be sad when I leave on Saturday, but I suddenly realized that this place has never really been my home.
In my transient young adulthood, this is the longest that I’ve ever stayed in one place, but the yellow tiled bathroom and beige walls don’t belong to me. No matter what efforts I put in to making this place mine, the calendar on the wall, or chalk boards with my to-do lists, it never really felt quite right. It was always a shared place, not fully my own. I think about all the memories I’ve made here, all the ways that I’ve really come into my own and become a person I am happy to be, and built relationships here and a life, but that isn’t about the place itself.
Sure, I will miss the memories, and maybe a little bit of the freedom I had in this ~300sq ft room, but this place was never really my home. Now I have the chance to make a real one for myself, if I am ready to give up the idea of myself as a transient youth and move forward into a real life with someone. It’s scary and overwhelming, but I’m ready to say goodbye to this non home and move forward into a real house with plants and dogs and friends and a man who loves me.
So goodbye, mildew stained paneled wall. I don’t think I’ll miss you.