My Apartment, My Self
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My Apartment, My Self

In the past three months, I have purged so much from my apartment. A new couch is being delivered on Thursday. There’s somewhere to eat breakfast now that isn’t a loveseat or perched up in bed or standing next to the sink. My cookware isn’t peeling possibly carcinogenic Teflon bits into my cauliflower rice anymore. There’s no rotting tomato sauce or dried out baking soda in the fridge. I have even more clothes to take to Goodwill.

In the past three months, my apartment has been through a sort of metamorphosis. I have new pillows. They aren’t stained with makeup or sweat or whatever leaves behind those dull stains on pillows and mattresses. My dog is getting over her fear of the dishwasher. There’s no longer a heap of “whatevers” piled up in the sink next to the “I’ll deal with them laters”.

In the past three months, my apartment has been shedding its skin and transforming into something new. It’s still undeniably my home. I still don’t always put the laundry away or vacuum enough. There is still a chicken claw and sage and strange flea market art and tiny pumpkins left from Halloween. It’s still my apartment—it still reeks of me. But it’s evolving. It’s changing.

And maybe this is all circling back to me, because of course it is, and is a big statement about how I am hesitant at best, resistant most often, and terrified at its worst, to and of change.

It’s how I’ll buy the new pillows, but insist on sleeping with the oldest one. How I’ll curl up in the new chair next to the new table, but still prefer to eat in bed. How I’ll reluctantly get Christmas decor, but leave the pumpkins out for as long as I can. How I’ll agree to change, teeter near the edge of it, but find myself obsessing over how it could all go wrong at 1 in the morning.

Maybe there’s a part of me that believes that I can change, but will steadfastly hold onto the old as some sort of “just in case” escape plan. I may not be able to pile my “just in cases” up into the sink, but I can keep them in the back of my mind.

To me, holding onto familiarity is safe. Consistency is like a security blanket. Routine and borderline monotony are like a shield. Whether those familiar things are actual, tangible, physical things or as simple as not allowing something to seem real. Whether they’re found in things like an old couch or never eating dinner at a table or found in keeping everything and everyone at a distance.

Change has never been something I welcomed into my home. And that’s speaking both metaphorically and literally.

Because when you open your door to change, when you allow the walls to be peeled back and freshened up and put the word “new” into your vocabulary, you’re also opening up to the possibility of finding the word “disappointment.” You’re putting something you know, something familiar, something you can trust at risk in favor of something that could very well let you down. Maybe it’s just that the color of the couch will be off, or maybe it’s that you’ll have to relearn how to be alone all over again.

In the past three months, there has been a lot of change. And surprise! Not just concerning the layout of my apartment. I have new silverware on the way to replace the mismatched forks and spoons collected from my mom and the dining hall of the University of Montana. I’m throwing out old socks that haven’t seen a match in years. I’m trying to become adaptable. I’m trying to be open to all this change.

And I guess all there is to say is that I hope all of this evolving, all of this change, will ultimately be worth it.

But if it isn’t, I guess at least I have somewhere to sit and obsess about what I could’ve done differently instead. TC mark

Image Credit: Alisa Anton

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Kendra Syrdal

live laugh la croix