As you read this today, my husband and I are going to / in the middle of / leaving the "closing" to buy our new home. We are excited and relieved to be moving on to larger territories, especially one with a kid-friendly back yard, but I thought I would take a minute to share my reflections from the past four years with you.
For four years we have happily lived in a "small space"--a 900 square foot apartment. We have had no complaints about our tighter-than-some quarters, and until our toddler started moving around like a madman we have felt snug as a bug in a rug, or something like that.
I am quite grateful for our experience living here. We have had on-call maintenance and security and wonderful property managers. We have had access to a swimming pool that we didn't have to maintain. Our apartment has been close to shopping and activities.
Living in a small, rented space has taught me a few things that I really needed to know. For instance, I don't need everything I see and can afford. I mercilessly de-cluttered my kitchen gadgets and ousted any "one-trick ponies" from our cabinets so that what we needed could fit there. I discovered the beauty, simplicity, and utility of a good knife. We donated excess linens and clothing, and I earned a fair chunk of change selling books and DVD's online. The big space we had left before moving here seemed to always beg me to fill it. Moving to a small space allowed me to breathe for the first time in years.
I now love white walls and empty spaces. They are a canvas on which we can create the story of our household as it grows and changes. I had always thought that walls needed to be painted in striking colors to match the magazine-shoot-ready decor that we also "needed." Thanks to our lease painting was not an option. It has taken some time, but the white walls I once saw as disgustingly unfinished are now blissfully free of constraint and bright, much like the unfolding tale of our family. Our new home has white walls, and that is how they will stay, for now anyway.
So, am I sad to be leaving this place that has taught me so much? Um, no. As soon as the papers are signed we are out of here faster than you can say, "Go outside and play, honey." We will miss having maintenance on-call, and becoming home owners is a bit scary, especially in an area somewhat prone to hurricanes, but we are ready to make the move. So, thank you, little appartment, for all that you have done to make us better people. I pray that the next tenants will be just as blessed here as we have been.