I feel embarrassed to confess this, so please bear with me (I feel so silly). But… I am moving out of my first very own apartment, and I cried more about this than I like to admit.
When I was 19 I jumped at the first chance to move out of my parent’s house. I moved in with my first boyfriend and things didn’t work out. We broke up and I moved out. I found a roommate online and moved in with her, and after cleaning up after her mess for almost a year, I couldn’t take it any longer. I decided to get out. Although I had a partner when I moved out, I wanted to try living on my own after all this trouble. So I found my own place. It is tiny and old and not in the best condition but I LOVE it!
This place became my hoodie, my comfort zone. For the first time in 15 years I didn’t dread coming home. Oh, the freedom! The endless possibilities!
Fast forward to 2014: my partner and I have to relocate soon. And although I know good things are ahead, I am devastated. I am losing my first and only home I ever truly had and loved. Oh the tears, oh the fights (“I feel like you don’t want to do all this. Do you want to stay?” “You don’t GET me! *insert ugly crying*). But I have to roll up my sleeves and dig in.
How do I cope with this, you ask? Good question. There are five strategies I came up with that have been helping me with my struggle to say bye to my bachelorette pad…
1. Allow myself to mourn
There is no way around it: I am sad, my heart has got some cracks and I am overwhelmed. So let’s cry it out. I talked to my partner about this in a quiet moment, confessed my sadness and he understood. Whenever I feel like everything is too much, we are both now on the same page and he knows that this is part of a mourning process, not a sign of doubt.
2. Analyze the situation
What exactly is my problem? Let’s dig somewhat deeper… I am losing my comfort zone (loss of stability and the known) while simultaneously facing a difficult situation (fear of the new, lack of support system in the new city, uncertain future). But moving forward is the only way to go, so let’s make the best of this knowledge.
3. Set aside time for my own
A part of my problem is grieving over letting go of this time of my life where I was able to be all on my own. So while packing up my stuff, I want to crack open a beer or two and take my sweet time alone. Reminiscing and saying my goodbye. I plan to purge and take the chance to halve my belongings. While doing this I am looking forward to carefully pick out some things that will have a special place in the new apartment. Plus: I am re-ordering my favourite room scent so the new place will feel more like home from the get-go.
4. Embrace the possibilities
Painting walls, re-arranging furniture… the next place might even finally have a balcony. Look at all the good things that are coming! I loved making this old place our home, I just have to remind myself of this again. And let’s be honest: this place right now is way too tiny. I am looking so forward to finally having some ROOM. And all the flea-market shopping and the craigslist-surfing that is ahead of me? Girl, you will LOVE this!
5. Put on my big girl pants
Alright, here we are, you all might have already be waiting for this: The big girl pants. Tough situation? True, let’s tough it out. I already accomplished much harder tasks, survived harder times. It is time to shift my perception — I am not just losing my first home, I am moving on. This is an opportunity, not the end of the world.
One more thing:
I am taking my partner with me. All the feelings of security I connect to this place? Let’s be real. It truly is my partner I can rely on the most. Not some walls, windows or a couch. Just because I am not used to having someone I can count on while growing up doesn’t mean I don’t have a family right now. And this little family of two is now taking a chance and moving forward. And I am so thankful for this.