Last night, I sold my dining table and chairs. Although I’m keeping most of my furniture, there are a few things not worth lugging down to Virginia Beach. I really liked the set – solid wood, great quality, but to go through the effort of getting it to my mom’s house just to store in the shed didn’t seem to make sense.
So I sold it on Craigslist. The couple that bought it came over at 8pm, and I helped them take the various pieces down to the car. They were friendly, and we chatted about my plans. Then, they drove off, new-to-them furniture in hand, and I went back up to my apartment…and to a gaping hole where the set used to be. And for a moment I felt a gaping hole in my chest.
It really didn’t have to do with the set. Instead, it made me realize that I no longer have a place to drop my bag when I get home, nor do I have a chair on which to throw my jacket. And when I got up this morning and packed my bag on the couch, I reflected about all of the other things I’m going to miss, all of the small details that add up to a day and then a week and ultimately become routine.
I left my apartment and steeled myself against the 25 degree weather. I live less than a quarter mile from the metro, but every morning I walk to a station a mile away for the pleasure of it. As I walk, I count the construction cranes on the way; we’re up to nine at this point. I wonder what the neighborhood will look like when I return next. Undoubtedly different: denser, shinier, newer.
When I exited the metro by work, I was greeted with the music of my favorite street musician. I only cross paths with him a few times a month, but it always puts me in a good mood. It’s been a while since I’ve had small bills on me, so I was glad for the chance and dropped some money in his box, amazed that he could pluck his stringed instrument without gloves on while I struggled to keep my hands warm in heavy ski mittens.
When I walked into the building, the security guard and I exchanged greetings.
“Good morning. How ya doing?”
“Good. Happy Hump Day!”
“Thanks. Have a good one.”
Predictable. Comfortable. Routine.
Once in my cubicle, I powered up my computer and then shed my layers. Off came the mittens, then the hat, then the jacket. I sat in my desk chair. This is no ordinary desk chair. This is my amazing couch-like desk chair, the chair I pilfered from an empty office, the chair completely different from any of the other chairs, the chair that makes my co-workers jealous. I may work in a windowless cubicle, but at least I have my amazing desk chair. I’m going to miss it, but I’ve found it a good home.
Once my computer was warmed up, I took the right-handed mouse in my left hand to open Outlook and check my emails. I’ve been using the mouse with my left hand for about a year since my right wrist began to strain from overuse. It used to be awkward to use it as such, but now it’s become my norm, second nature.
After catching up on emails and working on a couple of tasks, I went to the breakroom to make my breakfast. I took a raw egg from a small tupperware container and cracked it into a bowl. After 30 seconds in the microwave, I ate a quick breakfast. I love my daily egg and starting my day with straight protein. It energizes me and sets me up for a day without sugar crashes. It may be a little thing, but this could be one of the most difficult impending changes to manage.
And my day went on like this. Living the little details. Reflection. Nostalgia.
My oversized mug with the chip on the handle. Dragging myself down to the gym in the office building’s basement. Chatting with co-workers about weekend plans. Running around the National Mall. Visiting the Smithsonian museums. My go-to Persian restaurant. And the list goes on.
I’ll be leaving DC in about a week. A week! I know I may have the opportunity to move back in the future, but I’m realistic enough to know that it will never be the same. I’m by no means upset about that, but with my apartment packed up and the clock ticking persistently, I’m starting to acknowledge the implications.
I’m moving. I’m leaving. I’m taking the bull by the horns and seeking an adventure. I know there will be times when I’ll miss the routine, the little details. But I’ll be making new routines, new details. Change is in the air.
a) It’s pretty exciting, right?
b) It’s pretty terrifying, right?
(You pick the ending.)