After college, I moved back in with my parents for a year. And during that time, I couldn’t wait to find my own apartment and move out. I was dreaming of the day when I had the keys to a place of my own. The day that Jim would move to Pittsburgh and we’d cook dinners together in the kitchen and hang our pictures on the wall and make friends with the upstairs neighbors.
We found that apartment, but it was mostly me cooking dinners and we didn’t make friends with any neighbors.
We’d lived in the apartment for almost two years and then we started thinking about a house of our own. We watched HGTV obsessively and dreamed of space to entertain, quartz countertops, a guest bedroom, and most of all, a garage.
We bought that house, and we ended up with everything on our wish list and more.
Once we moved into the house, it was time to focus on the wedding. I dreamed of candlelit centerpieces and silver sashes around white chair covers and the perfect photo of a last kiss as the sun set over the country club.
We planned the most fantastic wedding, complete with wine bottle centerpieces, wine cork place cards, and a summer sunset as our guests danced and drank the night away.
So now we’re married, we live in our beautiful house, we cook our dinners together, we’re planning to someday hang the pictures on the walls, we’ve had friends over to stay in our guest bedroom and we hosted a small 4th of July get-together in our backyard.
We’ve gotten everything we’ve ever wanted. So what’s next? Continue reading
I used to be afraid of the city before I lived here. It was fear of the unknown, really. I didn’t actually know anything about Pittsburgh. All I knew was that the roads were terribly confusing and that traffic could be atrocious when there was a Steelers or Pens game, which were the only real reasons to go into the city anyway.
I imagined that cities were full of cruel and terrible people who jump out, steal your money, rape women, pillage and plunder. It only took a few off-handed stories for me to form this stereotype in my mind.
But despite this, cities had always fascinated me. From Pens and Pirates games to my abbreviated tour of New York City, I had always thought that the urban lifestyle looked so glamorous and romantic. People who lived in cities seem to live totally different kinds of lives that I will never grasp. Skyscrapers, cars, traffic, taxis, outdoor cafes, rooftop bars, apartments, buses and trains– there’s so much going on and so much movement. Everyone just walks everywhere, always somewhere to go, someplace to be. People run to catch buses, they push strollers across intersections, they walk with rolling baskets to carry groceries, they meet for lunch or coffee or drinks. They are busy with their own lives, but they’re all part of this big, urban machine.
On Pinterest, “Home Decor” is one of my favorite categories to browse. I love seeing the perfectly put-together rooms and the features that no one would actually ever implement in their house, but they look fun to have (like a slide from your bedroom to the living room, or a trash chute that leads outside and puts the trash right into the garbage bin). I love dreaming about my own future house and imagining color-coordinated furniture or boldly painted walls. I picture myself, someday, having a home where things are new and perfect.
It’s fun to dream about this because right now, it is very difficult to actually accomplish. I suppose your first apartment is supposed to be crappy. It’s supposed to be a little run-down, a little worn around the edges, a little small and a little inconvenient. When I am older and living in a big house with a yard, I will remember this one bedroom apartment and I’ll appreciate everything that much more.
I’m okay with living here right now. I’ll accept that we have to wash every dish by hand and that the cupboards don’t have knobs and that the bathroom light switch is all the way over by the towel rack instead of right next to the door. It’s only two rooms, but it’s spacious enough and the carpets are surprisingly well-kept. It’s okay that all of our furniture either came from my parents or Jim’s parents, or Craigslist. But what I am struggling with is how to decorate. Continue reading
The year of 2013 was big for me. I’ve probably said that about many other years, though. The year I started high school, the year I graduated high school and went away to college, the year I discovered television production, the year I graduated college… I keep thinking that those years where all the big stuff happens all at once are behind me. I keep thinking that life will level out and I will find my niche and all will continue smoothly without surprises or upsets. I keep thinking I’ll find that comfort zone.
I believe that I am a person who likes to have things figured out. I like plans, to-do lists, and the predictability of a schedule. But when I think about this past year, nothing I did was in “the Plan.” I’m not even sure what that plan was or where it originated, but I know that I never saw myself here.
After this year, though, I’ve realized that life is not about finding your comfort zone. It’s about getting away from it. Life is about change and struggle and loss and love. It’s about the journey. This past year held many firsts, was full of uncertainty and doubt, and overflowed with changes. I was as far from my comfort zone as I could be, and yet it was one of the best years of my life. Continue reading
In college, I led the search for a house for my roommates and I after our freshman year. We were determined to live off-campus as soon as we could, because that’s what the other girls on the swim team had done. We had few criteria–we wanted to be within walking distance to the pool and we each wanted our own bedroom. That was about all we looked for that first year.
And I learned my lesson. Continue reading