Kate Marolt Tuesday, July 7, 2009

An unexpected life change is approaching me this summer. After almost two years of living in my beautiful apartment, circumstances have shifted and I will be moving out before school starts at the beginning of September.

When this news first hit me I was kind of shocked and very sad. This is the first place I have lived in my entire life, aside from my parent's house, that has really felt like home. I live on a beautiful, tree-lined street in Lakeview, Chicago, IL, walking distance from school and many other things. I have great roommates, both friends and ultimate frisbee teammates. Lovely living room, skylight, big kitchen, very reasonable rent...and it was where I came back to after living abroad for 4 months. My Chicago home.

However, after sitting on this for a day or two, I decided to shift my way of thinking. Rather than focus on all that I had to give up, wouldn't it be better to focus on both what I already have and what other possibilities there could be? So I came up with a list of reasons why a new place and possibly new roommates would be positive changes in my life:

  • Potentially cheaper rent
  • Living with people my own age (my roommates are both a year younger...last year they were both older)
  • Since I wouldn't see my roommates every day anymore, I would appreciate our friendship more and make an effort to see them outside of the context of 'are you done in the bathroom yet?'
  • This is a big one: The opportunity to majorly downsize my belongings and accumulated STUFF.
  • Not become to attached to this place. I already know I want to leave the country after I graduate to explore, work, and travel but am afraid that I may choose what I know. After another year in this apartment-that-is-fast-becoming-my-home that would be a lot more difficult to let go of.
After making this initial list, I was starting to feel much more at peace with the situation. Especially after talking about it more with my roommates. And then a great opportunity came up- two of my good friends just moved into a place, and their third roommate is actually leaving the city so they need someone to fill her space. They live closer to campus, rent is the same price, and they are my age. Also, they are not on my ultimate team, which at this point is a plus- I am realizing the importance of not limiting myself to one group of friends!

So it's great that all of this fell into place for me. I think that when I'm ready to accept certain things as they are, the right opportunities are more likely to come along for the future. Also, some specific positives about moving into this particular apartment:

  • They already have furniture. They do not need my two couches and two armchairs. One couch and chair that I have have been in my family forever...a lot of sentimental value both from my parents and from me. Great opportunity to let them go (especially because they are leather).
  • The room I will be moving into is probably a bit smaller than mine. Which means I have to get rid of things. And as moving is such a hassle (I've done it 6 times in the past 3 years) I want to keep it as simple as possible. My goal is to be able to fit all of my possessions into a regular size car.
  • It is a quarter of a mile from the art building. Which means that instead of leaving at 8:15 for my 8:45 am classes, I can leave at 8:40. That's brilliant.
  • Again, that close means that I can go home to eat or to grab something. No more carrying my life around in my backpack.
  • I will get to live with two girls who are a lot of fun, great friends, and different from me, which will keep things enjoyable and interesting!

What I'm trying to say is, I could be upset about having to change what is already working very well for me and having to rearrange my life and my space yet again. But instead, when I think about the positives and find ways to turn a potentially bad situation into a good one, I get excited about the possibilities rather than dwelling on the doors that are shutting. I'm not saying that this is always easy. But it is something I strive to do every day so that I am peace with my world as is and am able to create a reality in which each day is better than the next.

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