About twelve months ago, I could have also written a post called "Leaving Home." I was moving to a new city about five hours away from the city I had called home for about 21 years. Now I feel like I can say the same thing. Even though I have no idea where I'll be by this time next month, I do know this: By the end of August I will not be in this apartment.
Now obviously if I move across town I will not be at a loss for friends. I will not be lonely for old co-workers or the other people I have gotten to know in the past eleven months. I will however be saying good-bye to my very first apartment. It was only my second "big girl" purchase with my first being my car.
My apartment and I have shared many good memories. We've been through small dinner parties with friends, epic battles with a mouse, and annoying leaks in the ceiling. We've been through endless amounts of paper grading, invitation stuffing, and application prepping. I've cooked so many wonderful meals in my very first kitchen. I've made a couple of duds too.
Even if I had kept my job at Hopkinsville High, I would be moving to a different apartment. I cannot have a pet here, so I have to leave if I'm ever to be the crazy cat lady. This apartment has been an every faithful friend in a not so certain time of my life. It's the first time I've ever felt really alone, but in that solitude I believe I have learned so much about myself and how strong I can be if I put my mind to it. I have been extremely blessed to be in it, and I am supremely thankful for my sister helping me find it.
My sister helped me decorate my apartment. Decorating my apartment may have been the last time I get to spend that much time with my sister alone. I almost hate to take down the pictures and spackle the holes that we put in the walls, but I must. I must pack up the memories I have created within these walls and take them with me to my next "home." Wherever that may be, I have to trust that God will help me find another place to call my own.
Last year around this time I typed a blog that used a quote from Virginia Woolf's, "A Room of One's Own." I did not think that this past year would include "A Room of One's Own" for me. I believed that I would be moving in with friends, and substituting for a year. Well now my friends are to be married, and I'm faced with the possibility of maybe not having a apartment of my own again. I may have to move back in with my parents.
As much as I love them, I don't want that. Knoxville was my home for 21 really wonderful years. I will always think of it as my first home. It is where my parents are, and where some very old and dear friends are. However, I don't belong there anymore. I belong somewhere in Kentucky. Even if I have to work two jobs to be able to afford a place to live, I will find a way to make it on my own. I don't want to have to live off of my parents' or any other person's good graces.
On Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, people need food, shelter, safety, love, and esteem before they can even think of self-actualization. I know I will never need for food and shelter or love. My parents would give me all that in a heartbeat if I needed it. However, I know that esteem is not something that is going to come easily for me if I take their food and shelter and even their love. If I wind up back in my childhood bedroom of 21 years, I am afraid my esteem will be spent. I can't imagine going back after being gone for a year. I know it's selfish and wicked to be this way, but I really just want to prove I can be on my own and keep it that way.
For all I know, the world and God will prove me wrong once again, like it did eleven months ago. I could get called for a job tomorrow. I could get called for a job in three weeks. I could never get called to another teaching job. It's just not for me to know. The uncertainty kills me, but I do know one thing. The uncertainty of last summer led to the happiness and fulfillment of the past year, so I know wonderful things come from uncertainty. I thank God for blessing me with the wonderful people I have been introduced to this year, and I pray he keeps me in close contact with them always wherever I am. So perhaps this time next year, I'll have found a new "home" and "A Room of One's Own."