This move was harder than I could have imagined. I think we all romanticize the idea of moving, as if the act of doing a 360 of your physical surroundings will bless you with a new start.
As minimal as I have become with my stuff, it was a headache wrapping my mind around all the things I had to pack. It made me really uncomfortable seeing that I needed packing boxes in addition to the suitcase, carry-on and other small bags/boxes that I already had. This is after I had already given away a few of my things, namely my futon.
I forgot how attuned to my environment I am. Once I arrived at the apartment, I spent about 24 hours moving in, a good part of that bleaching, moping and wiping the years of evidence from previous tenants. Putting my stuff in was a small chore in comparison.
My mind was wholly consumed by this move until I felt like it was my home. My mood was erratic, frustrated at the landlord’s lack of responsiveness to the myriads of issues that arose in the days leading up to my move. Mind you, I didn’t move to a pristine apartment. I ate and drank only when I could no longer ignore the hunger pangs and my dried up throat. I refused to shower until I was physically exhausted.
I still see the markings on the wall, the imprints left from my uneven mopping on the marble floor, and the dusty surfaces reflected by the sunlight. These are the signs that I haven’t adjusted yet, because when I do, these common small problems become part of the backdrop of my regular environment. That’s why we react strongly to people’s idiosyncratic places, but are entirely oblivious to our own.
My space is bigger. The white round table I got at my old place now pales in comparison to the dinner table. The apartment is one floor, yet the distance from my room to the bathroom takes more steps. The lighting in the bathroom makes me feel good when I look at myself in the mirror. The windows are soundproof, letting in only the constant hum of the traffic and the garbage trucks announcing their arrival with a mechanical A Maiden’s Prayer.
I’ve slept three nights here, and I’m back to my regular, moody, nightmare-infested self again. It still feels eerie to have a kitchen and a bigger everything: bigger bed, bathroom, floors, sofa. The many windows lighting the apartment make me feel more exposed, no longer in a cocoon looking out the one and only window facing a quiet street.
I don’t miss my old home at all, which I had worried about. I guess this means I’m adjusting well.
Of course, now I have a very important mission to accomplish. And it’s surely going to make the apartment feel less empty with the litter, toys, bed, food, and scratching pad lying around.