Saturday, October 22, 2011

Living On My Own~ Star Status Dreams And Goals

It was was a Saturday morning in 2005 right before my freshman year of college would start. That morning my parents and I walked into a relatively okay-looking dorm and moved all of my necessities into my new room. The room was approximately the same size as the room I'd been sleeping in at home by myself, but this new room was made to fit two people.

It had two small closets, which when put together was the same size as the closet I'd been using the last couple years of my life. In a way clothes define who we are at the moment, so I had to figure out how to fit my life into half the space. For the items that didn't fit into the closet I also had a trunk, which was slid in front of my bed for decorative purposes, and also suitcases, which went under the bed. After this I was left with a desk. There were two desks in the room and one was mine. There was also a small dresser stand meant to hold a television at the top. The television that was placed there would be mine, because my roommate at the time didn't see a purpose in buying one. You're probably wondering where a bathroom and kitchen comes in. Since it was a dorm there was no kitchen. The bathroom, on the other hand, was shared by around 20 girls. At 18 this scenario was the start of my new life and the start of longing for my own place.

Dorm style living aside, people close to me thought it would be best for me to live with someone. They thought as long as there was a person near me, even if they weren't exactly watching over me, I should be happy. However, that first roommate drove me crazy. When I was awake, she was sleep. When she was trying to sleep, my being awake was disturbing her. Somehow her things always ended up on my side of the room. There was one night where I woke up and tripped over a box, a box that she'd brought in with some of her belongings and hadn't bothered to move. I never saw it coming. There were moments where I fell out of friendship with people. Then she'd continue being friends with them and allow them into our room to taunt me.There were moments where we could go places together, but when we walked back into our dorm room it was hell all over again. Okay, maybe it wasn't hell but it was clear that I should be living in a space fit for only me. She felt the same way about me. Eventually we'd have to move out of the dorm and into a new place. Her new place became a nice two bedroom apartment that she shared with her older sister. My new place would consist of three new roommates and torture all over again.

It was apparent that first year of college that a place of my own would be the best thing since God created earth, but others didn't see it that way. My parents, who were helping me financially, thought it would always be best for me to have roommates. They thought "No, you can't survive living by yourself." So I let their words marinate and always ended up in unhappy situations. There was a roommate who continuously smoked weed. There was a roommate who was okay sometimes, but tried to continuously report me to the housing managers because  she liked it cold and I liked it warm.  There was a roommate who, when I was 22, was 18. The age difference does make a big difference. Then there was a roommate who continuously lied, smoked weed, and tried to move her broke boyfriend in. She was the last and worse of them all. However, they could have gotten worse or even better and it would have been the same. The longing for my own personal space would still be there and it is still there.

It still lives on because I thought I would finally have an apartment by myself after college. I was convinced I would get a great job and be able to survive alone. No help from family, still hanging out with friends every now and then, no sleep overs, no being inconvenienced or being the inconvenience, just me by myself in my own place with the doors safely locked, late night television in my ears as I'm wrapped in a blanket on my own couch half sleep. Yes, I realize that is a run-on sentence, but the point is that is what I thought I would have. However, there was no job and there is now my parents house.

I'm back in the same room I spent my high school years sleeping in. When I leave my room I have to deal with annoying little brothers who don't understand the value of space. I have to deal with getting yelled at by parents because I'm not perfect and they've never understood me. Even more than anything else, I have to deal with dreams of still living on my own and the people that don't understand.

Years ago I wanted to graduate from college and move to Atlanta. The immediate thoughts of people close to me was either "It's not possible" or "You have family you can stay with." Neither of those scenarios would have worked. But about a year ago I decided that California is where I want to make my new start. Still no one understands. My parents reaction was "There is no one out there that you know" and other's reactions were "How will you find a roommate?", which I don't want anyway.

While California has various writers, a flourishing movie industry, a fashion industry worth writing about, and enough schools to keep giving a writer hope, it also contains the freedom to really move and be in a place on my own.

Okay, this started out as a longing for my own comfortable crib, but the lessons over the past 6 years has taught me that it's about more. It's about my own crib, my own space, a new start, and proving I can make it in the world on my own.

The idea of this post came from an article on Clutch Mag called A Place Of My Own. If you want to read about my experience of apartment hunting read A Place To Call My Own.

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