It’s hard to see them coming sometimes – fundamental changes that irrevocably alter the whole makeup of your life. It feels like day in and day out, nothing really changes. The days feel long and monotonous. Same couch, same pandemic, same life.
But these small, seemingly inconsequential, things happen every so often. You sell your car, your city switches to grey lock-down restrictions, your boyfriend takes an interview for a live-in position at an apartment building down the road, for example. They don’t throw your life for a loop directly, but they start to pave the way for big changes.
Before you know it, you’re sitting in the remnants in what used to be your very first adult home. The apartment you longed for, searched for, and acquired all by yourself. You try your best to keep working with your desk in pieces, the rest of your life in boxes, and strangers wandering around your home wondering what will happen next in their lives. And you’re wondering what will happen next in yours.
“Imagine how beautiful this balcony will look in the summer? With all the leaves on the trees?” A prospective new tenant asks her boyfriend through video call as you try not to eavesdrop from the living room. It IS beautiful in the summer. Absolutely. You didn’t appreciate it enough. The new apartment is on the second floor with a view of other buildings’ second floors and, if you look closely between the alleyway, a gas station.
When the viewing ends, your cat crawls, low to the ground, out from under his hiding spot beneath the bed. You worry about the impact the move will have on him. For minus 4 weeks of his nearly 4 years on earth, he’s only lived in this apartment. One of his greatest thrills is when he runs up and down the hallway after midnight sometimes. He won’t have that hallway to run around in the new building. You worry about his territorial instincts. About your own. About the new neighborhood, the new apartment. Will the walls be as soundproof? Will the neighbors be as nonexistant? Will the vibe be as lovely?
This apartment has been good to you. This apartment has put up with you and comforted you during an entire year of working from home. And for three years before that. This apartment has housed, protected and watched you grow into the best version of yourself so far. You don’t want to go, but you know that endings are a natural part of life. As much as it feels like it on the bad days, time isn’t stagnant. Life is always flowing into new experiences, new places. This move is just another ripple in the colourful timeline of your unfinished life. It’s a good thing. A great thing.
The new building is nice. It’s a bit newer, better kept. There’s a gym and an outdoor pool. The new neighborhood is more convenient. More restaurants and shopping nearby. You’re right on the subway line, instead of a 15 minute walk away. The new apartment is bigger. Freshly painted. You’ll finally have curtains. A guest room. Ample space for storage for the ridiculous amount of stuff you’ve managed to amass and cram into this tiny old apartment with nearly no closet space. The new apartment is a blank space, waiting eagerly for you to come and make it your new home, fill it with new memories and new experiences. It’s exciting!
But you’re scared and sad and worried all the same.