Moving is more than packing and unpacking stuff.
Let’s back up a little.
In my last post*, I sort of glazed over the fact that I just recently moved. It might’ve been just a mention in the middle of a post about my attempts at minimalism, but the truth is, there were a lot of feelings tangled up in this experience. I mean, of course there were. Moving is exhausting, exciting, and expensive.
I moved into The Treehouse in the summer of 2013.
We called it the Treehouse because it was a 2BR townhome whose main levels (second-floor living space and third-floor bedrooms) popped right up in the middle of a whole bunch of trees in an area that was just outside of downtown and right up off of the river.
It felt like climbing up into your very own Treehouse every night. Every morning, waking up among branches and with absolutely zero views of a street or sidewalks unless you sat up and looked down. From the living room, all you could see was trees.
It was set off the main roads sometimes so much so that I sometimes wished it wasn’t, that it was more in downtown, that it was closer to a decent bar or restaurant (or one that stayed open past 11pm). I joked about it being a little “armpit” of a space between downtown and the South Waterfront that no one really seemed to understand where it was located.
The Treehouse perched blocks off the Willamette, steps from two great little coffee shops and a few other bars and restaurants. The ‘scene’ was… well, not a scene at all, but the neighborhood was gorgeous, quiet, and cozy.
But, after four years, it was time to move on. I’ve never lived alone, I’ve always wanted to, and this was the time. I poked around a few neighborhoods, and ultimately decided on a building that was close[r] to work, in my price range, and frankly, approved me with only a couple of hoops to get through.
There have been a LOT of feelings tied up in that whole approval process.
Rewind to 2013, when I was looking to move out of North Portland and back to the center of the city, when we didn’t get an apartment because of my shitty credit. I still wonder if the only reason we got the one we did (The Treehouse) was because I wasn’t actually part of the initial application process.
Either way, there are many reasons I stayed as long as I did in the Treehouse (the location was great, the price was right, the roommate was most excellent, moving sucks, etc.), though one was certainly the fear of not even being able to get approval some place new if I wanted to.
To be honest, I thought this (this = having my very own place) was still years out.
I had bad credit to rebuild, debts to pay off, and ends to meet. I’ve put a lot of time and energy in the last few years into rebuilding that credit, paying off those debts, and meeting those ends. When I got the phone call that I was approved, I nearly cried. I stopped looking at other places and just reveled in the knowledge that soon, that little corner unit would be mine.
When Megan moved into The Treehouse back in February of 2014, we smudged the place.
Cleansed the old energy, invited the new. And, when we had everything packed up and loaded out, we smudged it again.
We popped a bottle of pink bubbles, split a few Blue Star Donuts, and went room by room, each of us having our own moments of feelings and exhales. For me, that meant considering memories. It meant gratitude for people who have shared our spaces. It meant remembering firsts and lasts and in-betweens. It meant letting go of a space that was home for over four years, marking the longest I’d ever lived in one single place (or with the same roommate) for the first time in my adult life. I’d been used to moving around every couple of years, and this time, for lots of reasons, just stayed put for awhile.
At the end of September, we locked the door for the last time.
And while there’s been a lot of time spent sorting, purging, packing, cleaning, unpacking, lather, rinse, repeat, there’s been a lot of time spent sitting with and sorting through all of these feelings. It’s funny — I moved six weeks ago and just in the last couple of weeks have finally felt like I’m actually settling in. With that, I’ve finally felt the exhale of the whole process, and like I’ve landed somewhere I can really build and nest into my own. I didn’t feel that way in the first couple of weeks.
More on that part soon, though. Today, I throwback to four amazing years in a gorgeous space, and I sit in a space of gratitude with the notion that I learned to root into myself and grow there, too.
*Speaking of my last post, holy shit has minimizing my closet been a game-changer! More on this later, I’m still tweaking things a lot, but living with 1/3 of my wardrobe has improved my life SO much.