Last week Chris and I moved out of our apartment and into a home. Although we’re still renting, it was a MUCH needed move, both space- and privacy-wise.
But how do you say goodbye to something you love so much?
I found my beloved apartment after doing an online search while going through a stressful breakup. My situation had turned from casually looking to need-to-go-now, and my friend Lisa joined me on apartment tours throughout the Las Vegas Valley. The apartment I chose was in the far southwest side of town, and I couldn’t imagine moving there. But after looking at other rentals, I knew this was the one.
The rental office offered one month of free rent on my specific apartment, and there was interest from other parties. The representative encouraged me to sign on the spot, and I did. As I was filling out my paperwork, a couple came into the office inquiring about my apartment, wanting to rent it. I couldn’t believe it. I’d never made such an important decision so quickly, but I felt like it was meant to be. Plus, a free month of rent didn’t hurt as I was shifting my budget back down to a one-woman organization.
I moved in as quickly as I could for my safety and peace of mind, because my ex had become volatile. That first night in my apartment I slept on the floor in my green sleeping bag because my things weren’t scheduled to make it until the next day. But I couldn’t wait. I spread out the sleeping bag with a few blankets and a pillow, and had my iphone to keep me company. I ate a chicken chimichanga from Don Tortaco for dinner that night. It felt splendid. I felt so safe and protected in my new space. It was my refuge from the world.
I loved that apartment. The spacious front room gave way to the master and massive walk-in closet, and the second bedroom had clever, built-in storage cabinets and a double closet that couldn’t be beat. I brought a full house’s worth of items with me, and miraculously, they mostly all fit.
But most importantly, I came back to myself there.
When I moved in, I was reeling from a breakup that had been a long time coming and the death of my father the year prior. It was important I have a space that was all my own where I could think, write, dance and just be me. At the time, I was training for my first 10K and loved to run around the neighborhoods surrounding my apartment, getting in those six or seven miles and learning about the new area. The Southern Highlands neighborhood became my solace, and even now, I still love it and find a certain peace there. I trained for two more 10Ks in that neighborhood, in addition to just running for fun. Running along Southern Highlands Parkway and the nearby trails just can’t be beat.
You may think it’s funny that I love an apartment so much, but my apartment and I went through a lot together. First, I re-learned how to be independent there. Inside those walls I discovered what I wanted and who I was after the loss of both of my parents. Then, I rediscovered an old love in my high school boyfriend. It was short-lived, but he helped me find myself again. He reminded me of who I am, and for that, I’ll be forever grateful.
Within six months of living in the Southern Highlands apartment, I hosted a sleepover to celebrate one of my best friend’s birthdays. It was so fun and we were so silly. Then, I discovered a new love in Chris, and the apartment is where much of our love story unfolded. It’s where we flirted and got to know each other, then learned how to live with each other. It was our first home. We had our first Thanksgiving and Christmas there, and celebrated our birthdays. It’s where the smoke alarm would go off whenever I roasted a turkey, and where we could hear our upstairs neighbor talking at all hours of the day. It’s the place where we learned to be us, and also where Chris learned to love my quirks and I learned to love his.
We hosted friends and family, and built a foundation for our life together there. It’s also where we planned our wedding and where we came to in our first steps as a married couple. Then, our apartment became the place where I told Chris I was pregnant and we rejoiced before it became the place I miscarried and convalesced.
I’ve shared loving memories with my sister, father-in-law, and sister-in-law there, and my cousins and I shared laughs there. I know this next home will be filled with as many if not more wonderful memories, and it’s already starting out to be a great home and sort of a dream come true, really. But I will forever be thankful to my apartment, for helping me get back to where I needed to be when I needed it most.
So to my apartment, goodbye, and thank you for protecting me and giving me a safe place to just be me. I will forever have a special place in my heart for you.