A year ago, I decided to move out for the first time (no, college does not count) and head on over to Bed-Stuy. This month, I decided to move into another apartment in the same building because it was bigger and had outdoor space (after being home for 3 months and hardly going outside, outdoor space was necessary). Although I only moved two floors up, it still feels like the closing of one chapter and the opening of another.
For some reason, I have become very emotional about moving out of my first apartment – it made me grow up. It was where I spent 3 months quarantining alone. It was where I started a new job during a pandemic. It was where I turned 25. It was where I got a really ugly scar on my leg. It was where I let go of my last relationship. It was where I began the mess that is 2020. It was where I had views of Manhattan without paying Manhattan rent. It was where I had 3am bodega sandwiches with friends. It was where I learned the severity of how OCD I am when it comes to cleaning. It was where I cried one too many times while watching a Netflix movie. It was where I ran into way too many people I knew in the lobby (thanks to the Prep girl telling my friends I was showing up for a party with a grocery bag at 3am when I was actually trying to go home). It was where I dyed my hair and cut my own bags because I needed a “change.” It was where I reconnected with old friends and grew from those who did not fit in my life anymore. It was where I started freaking out about my quarter life crisis and life timeline. It was where I always found myself after a night out at Public. It was where I realized my love for spicy margaritas. It was where I booked a trip to the west coast for the first time. It was where I realized my love-hate relationship with wrapping Christmas presents. It was where I began taking spin classes (everyone visited Spiked Spin in Bed-Stuy when this is all done). It was where I reactivated my Hinge profile after taking a long break (we all need to find love somehow). It was where I decided to be single for my 25th year because if you are not good on your own, how can you be good with someone else? It was where I realized I am never living with a stranger again. It was where I gave up straightening my hair because not having Mami’s help for the rolos was an issue. It was where I recovered after getting my wisdom teeth out. It was where I made it a habit to call my grandmother at least every 3 days to catch her up on my life. It was where I came back after driving a boat for the first time. It was where I filmed clips for Glamour’s “5-75” YouTube series. It was where I saw I was featured on Good Morning America. It was where I watched Insecure over and over again because #TeamIssa. It was where I tried to make a grandma cart fashionable every time I went to the supermarket. It was where my doormen would hear about how successful a night was or wasn’t every weekend. It was where I began my Sunday virtual happy hours with Tamar and Lovia because maintaining friendships during a pandemic is key. It was where I learned I do not have to say yes to everything. It was where I learned how to say no to the things that were no good for me. It was where I realized what I wanted in a situationship and how to be vocal about it. It was where I first attempted to be a plant mom (if anyone has any tips, let a girl know). It was the place I made a home.
I have probably laughed and cried in every corner of my first apartment, so I will keep my crying to the four corners of my room this time around for my cousin’s sake. 602 was full of many firsts, many mistakes, many continuations, and many realizations.
Moral of the story: make sure your home is your sanctuary, and let all of the bullshit go. Make it an area of peace, especially during these trying times. Protect your space, and get rid of any and all toxicity. If you have extra time (and only if you want to because no one should feel like they have to do anything during this pandemic), look around, tidy up, and throw out anything that does not do you any good. You might forget you are still holding onto something you threw into a corner a year ago (like my ex bag). Moving into a new apartment and beginning a new chapter gives me a chance to create a space that is beneficial for me, a space I can be selfish in. Think about the kind of home you want to enter, and speak it in to existence.