(I feel as though I may have already titled a blog post "Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes." But I'm too lazy to go back and look. Eh.)
Everything is changing.
The past year has sort of been a whirlwind of change. A flurry of engagements, marriages, big moves, career changes, babies, and a host of other milestones have been happening all around me. In the coming months, Lee and Hot Curry will move to Utah*, some friends are hoping to start families, others are facing big career changes.
In some stroke of extraordinary good luck, it took me five days to find a new place to live. Well, five days, infinite emails, phone calls, Craigslist lurkings, two properties falling through, and multiple sketchy potential roommates. Last Saturday, however, I got the call from a girl with whom I'd been looking for houses. She'd found it, THE house, gorgeous, in our price range, lots of space, three bedrooms and a third roommate already lined up. Ready to go October 1. She was standing in this gorgeous house holding an application, ready to sign and put down a deposit if I was in.
The catch: the house isn't in Federal Hill.
I have lived in the same 20-block radius of Federal Hill since 2007. Four and a half years. I've moved twice since I first arrived here from Florida, shaking the sand and dead lizards out of boxes. I know every crack in the sidewalk, every short cut, the hours of every liquor store, and where I can always, always find a parking space when I'm hard up. My friends all live here, my trivia is here, my vet/dentist/pharmacy/gym are here.
Now, granted, New House is geographically situated less than a mile away. But changing neighborhoods in Baltimore is akin to changing boroughs in New York. Not only that, it forces you to vastly recalibrate everything from your morning cup of coffee to where you can buy eggs at 10pm if you need to. WHICH SOMETIMES I DO.
So, I decided that this house needed to be nothing short of spectacular to make me give up the comfort of my daily routine. I went over to view the space, and my decision became more difficult, because it was. Spectacular, that is. Partially compared to where I'm living now, where the house is crumbling down around us, and partially compared to some of the spaces I'd seen previously. Nothing like a hovel that's outside of your price range to make you want to give up and live in a box. But this house...it's beautiful. It's large, it's open, it's full of light, it's on a pretty little street in an eclectic neighborhood with some of the best restaurants in the world. And it's in my price range. Well within, I might add.
You get stuck in your bubble, in your routines and habits, in the patterns that make up daily life. Moving to a new house disrupts this, but you adapt. Moving to a new neighborhood completely changes things. But I'll adapt.
And change, I've found, is not a bad thing. A new perspective, new habits and patterns. With the comfort of knowing I'm still a ten minute cab ride or half hour walk from my old 'hood.
So, I filled out an application and left a deposit. I picked up the keys and signed a lease a week later. And now...my life is filled with boxes and packing tape again, with changing addresses and begging my friends and family to come and help me - again - a mere six months after I previously moved.
And this time, it really is a move. A big change. Time to go forward, to adapt again, to begin again a little bit less than a mile away but in a different mind set and different physical orientation.
And, yes, high levels of stress. Moving makes me want to chew my own skin off. No lie. But from start to finish, it's been less than three weeks since I came back from vacation, discovered I needed to move, found a place, and will have everything done next weekend (I hope). At some point, I'll congratulate myself on this whirlwind of proactivity but, for the mean time, it's back to packing and purging. (The one good thing about moving being the sudden proclivity to throw all of one's crap away - less to move.)
And, also, it's not like I'm moving to Utah.
(*I need to include this fact because both were quite reticent to allow me to move out of Federal Hill, at which point we would no longer be neighbors of sorts. I reminded them, politely, that wherever I move in October, they are moving to UTAH in November. They told me I was being selfish and rude for leaving Federal Hill before them. How utterly insensitive of me.)