After 6 years in our apartment in Alexandria, Virginia we sadly said goodbye to it yesterday.
Three days of packing and eight car loads of stuff and the only “thing” of real value we’ve taken away from that apartment are the memories. It’s hard to believe how much life we pumped into our small space. Birthday festivities, beer tastings, brunches, celebrations of weather, potlucks, wine and movie nights, King Street pre-games, goodbye parties – and the list goes on. No reason was too small to celebrate. It was an interim homestead for job seekers, sanctuary for mourning friends, vacation home for pets, homebase for out-of-town visitors, but most of all, it’s where our relationship took root.
We furnished it with some new things, a couple family heirlooms, and plenty of consignment store/alleyway finds. We studied for our P.E. exam for months at the same dining room we planned our wedding. Walks to the waterfront before happy hour at Pizzeria Paradiso and take out from Goody’s Carry Out (or some variation) became a comfortable mid-week routine. We settled in and it was good. Too good. Too routine. Too comfortable. At least for us, right now.
With our stuff stored at my parents house and their basement as our homebase, we now begin our newest challenge. Living and traveling on a tight budget (partially) unemployed, will force us out of our comfort zone and into a world where we will navigate the challenges of a non-routine life. For those who work in construction, or in any industry for that matter, you know it’s the non-routine work that often brings the most risk, but it’s also the type of work that leads to the most growth. Once you overcome the obstacles and successfully complete a new task, you carry the knowledge learned along the way with you for life.
We were the longest standing residents at our apartment complex until yesterday and we’ve given it up to be a little uncomfortable and to learn a lot of lessons along the way — the kind we’ll carry with us for life.