My eighth year in the same apartment

Yesterday, my fourth roommate in my current apartment moved in.

Yesterday too was the anniversary of my eighth year of living in the same Edwardian apartment. Rent-controlled. Untouched. It’s almost the longest place I have ever lived in. It’s a quarter of my life already!

There’s something scary about that. Not because of the age. But because I can honestly say that the eight years that I have lived in the same apartment in the same city have been the most defining years of my life. That may be very melodramatic to say, yes, but I entered this apartment very different than I am now.

Or at least I would like to think so.

On October 15, 2006, I moved into this apartment with excitement. It was meant of a new life. An adult life. At the time, I thought that I knew myself. My life was open with possibility. I knew so many people, so many friends. I could be who I wanted to be and believed that I had the confidence to do so.

But as life always it is, I found that I had less confidence than I really believed. I was crushed by heartbreak and failure. I wailed around the house like a lost ghost and experienced excitement at my desk when I succeeded.

This is the apartment where my room is trapped in four walls and one window, the window that looks out into nothingness. Yet despite that, the sun still breaks through in the morning without any pretense. This is the apartment where I learned to jostle the bathroom doorknob carefully not to lock myself in and conclude that it’s truly securely shut. This is the same apartment where I retreated to my room to read and write, always with my fingers dancing across the laptop’s keys. It has watched me have over 8 different jobs, 4 periods of “funemployment”, and planning meetings organized by yours truly.

I will remember this place when I leave just like I remember all the places, but what will I forget?

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