It’s the last night of March, 2016, and also the last night in my Kips Bay studio.
As usual I’ve put off packing until the eleventh hour, and am writing amidst a whirlwind of chaos. Packing my life up feels like ripping off a bandaid, or bursting a perfect bubble that can’t be un-burst. It’s as if someone is reaching inside me and rearranging my organs: unsettling, emotional, and a little painful.
I notice the familiar tug of nostalgia, which I only get when I’ve truly, deeply loved being in a place. The other time I’ve experienced it so strongly was leaving beautiful Edinburgh after 4 years of university. I remember the same emotion, as I floated slowly around Bruntsfield and the Meadows park one last time. It’s a mixture of longing and already missing somewhere, coupled with intense love and adoration.
When departure is imminent, I desperately absorb every detail around me, just in case I need to extract it from my memory at a moment’s notice. Like that tree outside my door that I’ve never paid attention to, the face of the man who sold me gum and toilet paper every week, and the tile pattern on the floor of my bathroom. When I’m cherishing details like that, it’s clear a place has gotten under my skin.
This was my first proper home and safe haven in New York. It took a while to adjust to the older, crumbly space after my luxurious temporary accommodation. Eventually, I developed a soft spot for the studio and all of its quirks: from the aggressive rushing sound of the huge, old pipe in the bathroom, to the kitchen lights that dimmed every time the kettle boiled.
My favorite thing to do in the apartment, other than decompress with Netflix in bed, is to sit exactly where I’m drafting this post from. In the kitchen there is a small, high, round table with 2 plastic, bar-stool-like seats. For whatever reason, I’ve only ever sat in one of the chairs.
There’s a large, tall window to the immediate right, and another in front, so despite the kitchen’s tiny-ness, it feels spacious. The small table lamp omits a dim, atmospheric, orangey light.
From here I’ve eaten my rare, home-cooked meals, spoken on the phone to friends and prospective dates, colored my coloring books, written my journal, opened my 30th birthday presents, and typed all my blog posts. It’s crazy to comprehend that I’ll likely never, ever sit here again.
Tomorrow morning I leap into the unknown: my new hood, new room, and new housemate. Tomorrow evening, a close friend from home arrives to celebrate her 30th birthday week. I’m honored she’s choosing to spend it in New York with me, and quietly glad, knowing that she’ll help ground me as I settle into the new place.
For me, moving is scary. All I can do is embrace the ambiguity, and acknowledge that it’s temporary. I remind myself that change has always made me grow, learn, and thrive. I find that life is like riding a bike: to keep our balance, we must keep moving.
And so from this cozy seat, it’s ciao for now. I’m ready to make the move to a new seat, and my next adventure.