Today I started packing up my apartment. I'm moving blocks down the street to a large, renovated apartment for less than I pay now. Go figure - one of the positive side effects of the recession. Rents are dropping in New York City like never before.
Packing up for a move is a curious activity. It begs the question, "what things do I really want to keep." I packed up a few big bags this morning and hauled them off to the Salvation Army. Even though I do my best to combat clutter of any kind, things still accumulate. For me it's mostly papers, magazines, and materials that relate to my writing that clutters up my apartment the most.
As many times as I've moved, I still get a little sentimental about leaving an apartment. Though my new space is much better than the apartment I currently live in, this apartment in particular has really meant something to me. I started my post-business school life here. I went through a job search, found my voice as a writer, and began my path to entrepreneurship right from this couch I'm sitting on. I watched President Obama's acceptance speech and his inauguration here. I mended a broken heart and fell in love with New York again inside this tiny studio. The stock market crashed and the economy was driven to the brink as I watched CNN. Friends and family came to visit. My little niece, Lorelei, took her very first Manhattan step over the threshold of this apartment. It kept me safe, sane, and calm in the midst of a very busy city.
Any home is a lot more than just four walls and a roof. It's a place where memories are built. Where great moments, big and small, take place. Everything in our lives stems from where we lay our heads at night so it's only natural that there would be a little emotion in saying good-bye. After all, when we move, we are passing through a door that will close behind us for good. It's a place to which we will never return and the only choice is to move forward.
So while I'm looking forward to being totally packed up and moved into my new four walls, I want to make sure I take the time to look back, just for a moment, and count the blessings that my current four walls housed. As Stephen Sondheim said, "This is where I began, being what I can."