Monday, February 28, 2011

Oh the places you'll go...

Stages of my life by city and apartment...

Sorry I haven’t blogged recently but it’s because I have been moving! I just moved in to a fabulous two bedroom apartment in Rockville with an old high school friend. And I have been there for one day and it already feels like home!

So over the course of this move...with the packing and purging, I reflected on all of the places I have lived and how each of those places embodied a different stage/chapter of my life. Now with 6 places in 5 years one would think I would have traveled a bit…but nope, this girl has stayed in the DMV (DC, MD, and VA for those that don’t know) and if nothing else, I know the area quite well!

Let’s take a little journey down memory lane…

First there was the college apartment. Shockingly nice for a college apartment (because it was technically on campus housing) but a college apartment nonetheless. I lived there with 3 of my best friends and we quite the time of our lives (contact me for stories! Haha)

Then there was Adams Morgan. (enough said!) Crazy, exhausting, mostly blacked out. Oh and in between college and Adams Morgan, I holed up in a hole in the wall for a month. A client of mine at the gym I worked at had an extra bedroom that I stayed in for free. It was small and dirty and lonely. But anyway…then there was Adams Morgan. My best friend at the time and I shared a small one bedroom apartment. I had no room. I lived on a day bed in the living room with no door and no closet. It was interesting. This was probably the peak of my partying days. And how could it not be in Adams Morgan?? Oh right, and I had a job…that pesky thing that I did during the day. I worked as a Fitness Specialist (personal trainer, etc) for a Corporate Fitness Company.

Then there was Baltimore (my favorite city). Fun, exhausting, financially impossible. The job with the Corporate Fitness Company left me longing for more. I wanted to utilize more of the skills I believed that I had…and so, I went back to school! I was accepted into Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health for a Master of Health Science program and jumped at the opportunity to move to Canton (B’more) with one of my best friends. While grad school was quite difficult, I managed to create a lifestyle that resembled college and acted as though I was still in college. And I don’t regret a single second of it…I had a lot of fun, met a lot of people, did well in school, but at the same time…continued to party a tad too hard. Once I realized I couldn’t sustain living in B’more with no income (and quit waiting tables to save my sanity and social life), I moved back to home sweet home.

Then there was Ellicott City. Home sweet home. Now you can imagine how thrilled my parents were to have me back! Just when they thought I had graduated college and was becoming an adult, I squeeze myself right back into their lives! But I thank them for the opportunity. Having the luxury of being able to move home when you need to, and having flexible, caring parents that allow you to continue living your young adulthood while under their roof is nice. But my bad habits continued. At this point I had begun working for the health organization. A job I loved and learned a lot from. But I hadn’t left my college-esque ways behind me. One would think that having to face your parents would keep you from partying too hard, but I didn’t care. I continued to stumble in, pass out around the house, make a mess, and just plain stress my parents out. I think this was around the time when I thought that changed was not an option. I believed that this lifestyle was the one that I was meant to live and the people around me needed to accept that and appreciate it. Not the best motto to live by…

Then there was Arlington (round 1). Disgusting, embarrassing, rock bottom. If you have been following my blog throughout the past year, you will probably know that this living situation was about rock bottom for me. I was working for an organization that I believed in strongly, but was not filling fulfilled at. I was struggling in my social/relationship life with a battle between best friends and an abusive relationship. I was living in a dirty townhouse with all guys that made me apathetic to many things. This was about the point when my drinking became my crutch…this became the only constant in my life and (what I believed at the time…) the only thing I was good at. After a couple of months of believing that I didn’t deserve better and was destined to live this lifestyle…I made “my decision” and began my “transformation” if you will.

Then there was Arlington (round 2). Renew…refresh…rejuvenate. All of those words apply to my second place in Arlington. This was the first home I chose that wasn’t based on its proximity to the bars. I moved in with a good friend who was immensely supportive in my sobriety decision and who helped me get through any moments of weakness or doubt. I ended the abusive relationship. I extended and rebuilt my network of friends. I found a stable and enjoyable job. And for once, my apartment felt like a real grown-up home. I felt more responsible and more mature and my home reflected that. I met an amazing man that unconditionally supported me and brought out my best qualities. This was the year of my blog, so many of my thoughts and feelings have already been explained throughout the past posts, so I won’t go into detail, but I think you get the idea 

Now there is Rockville. Mature, happy, healthy, strong. I don’t think it is a surprise that over the course of 5 years, someone would have grown up a bit…especially during those pivotal post-college, working member of society years. And so, I believe that this is most mature home yet. It feels like a home, it looks like a beautiful bachelorette pad, it’s holistic, it’s friendly, and it makes me happy. I moved into this apartment with an old friend from high school that I recently reconnected with. We share a lot of the same passions and ideas on life and I have nothing but good thoughts for the future! I remember when I graduated college and swore I would never move into the “suburbs” of some place like Rockville because that would be so lame and getting a taxi to and from the bars would be awful. I remember looking at rooms from craigslist and worrying that the prospective roommates furniture would be ruined if I got drunk and made a mess of the place. I remember lining my room in alcoholic pictures, bottles, and mis-matched furniture. And I remember of viewing my home as simply a place to bathe and sleep because all of my other time would be spent at work and out at the bars. It is refreshing (and probably grown up) to no longer live any of those ways. I am not saying anything is wrong with any of those things…they just aren’t for me anymore.

I think it is great that in 5 years I have had the opportunity to live in such diverse “settings”, to explore a couple of cities (even if there are within 50 miles of each other), to live with all different types of people, and to have each of those phases in my life. Without each of those phases, each of those experiences, each of those roommates, each of those jobs, and each of those neighborhoods…I wouldn’t be who I am. For once I feel settled. I can live for the moment instead of planning my next move.


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