Wow, that's weird to write.
In case you don't already know, I am a sap. A big, drippy, sappy mess. I turn it off much of the time, because if I didn't I would spend the better part of most days weeping over that time that thing happened. Or at the beauty of random objects. Or who knows what else. Let's just say it wouldn't be pretty and you wouldn't be my friend anymore.
All joking aside, my mother lived with her emotional dial turned ALL THE WAY UP ALL THE TIME and living like that, and living with someone like that, is exhausting. (Will today be a crying day? Or will today be a good day? Or will today be a good, crying day?) So I try and keep myself in check. But in case you didn't know, I have that same dial. I inherited it just as my sisters did and God help our significant others on those days and nights when we accidentally forget to turn the dial down.
So as I was saying.
I began this blog three years ago today.
My fabulous, black retro-smallish-shabby-chic desk that I snagged at a garage sale for $20 was up against the wall where my tv stand now lives. That's where my computer used to go.
That's where I started "She Walks," three years ago on January 13.
Geez, this blog is such an integral part of my life that I wonder how I ever lived without it. I am flattered and humbled every single day that you read it. (Yes, you.) It's the coolest and most amazing thing. The truth is, though, that I have been writing a blog since I learned how to write. I've kept a journal my whole life, and for whatever personality-quirk reason, I've always written it as though an audience of Invisible Friends were reading. Uh...that anyone actually does is a crazy wonderful thing I'll never get over.
Did you know that when I started this, I actually sent out an Evite? I did! I sent an Evite to my blog. Ha. I thought that if a few of my friends were actually reading and keeping tabs, that I would feel more accountable to my weight-loss plan/goal. OH WELL.
So three years ago...three years...
I weighed almost exactly what I weigh now. I owned very little cookware. I did all my internet-ing at my black desk from my PC laptop -- the Sony Vaio I'd purchased when I first moved to San Francisco. My finances were in pretty pitiful condition. My social life alternated between hanging out with PinkJaime, Sex and the City on DVD, and dating T, The Boy. My best friend, Emily, had just given birth to Ella, my sister Sam had just started dating Mike, and my sister Healy was pregnant. My father was alive. I wasn't 30 yet.
And then I discovered knitting and Crazy Aunt Purl and the whole huge wide world of non-political blogs which inspired me to just open up. And then everything changed. (Life will have a tendency to do that.)
And now it's January 13 2008. My black desk is in my closet, having been replaced by the Office Desk I acquired when I began working for BlogHer. I gave my laptop to my sister when I got my MacBook. She and her fiance, Mike, use it all the time. (Their wedding is this Labor Day.) Ella has a little sister now. Charlie's one cool ass kid, and it's awesome that he got to meet his grandfather ("Old Grandad"), even if he won't remember him. T and I broke up and it was pretty miserable for a few months there, but by the end of that summer I was finally back on track, with a new, real, job and foreseeable career path. I started dating Ish.
I'll tell you something, 'k?
When I moved into my apartment in September of 2004, it was a defining moment, in some ways just as defining as when I actually arrived in San Francisco three years before that. I'd lived in my own place that first year in SF, but on what felt like borrowed money, maybe even borrowed time. I landed here fresh from divorce proceedings that weren't even final. I was dating El_Gallo and still had a LOT of stuff (like, you know, my divorce and my mom's death) to work through. It took a long while. And it was only after ElG and I followed the course of a relationship riddled with Trying Times, after we realized we were not, actually, going to spend the rest of our lives together, that I was totally on my own.
For the very first time, I was on my own. And I moved here, to this apartment, to live by myself. It was scary and cool and full of possibility.
I didn't have any plan at all.
I didn't have money. I had a job, but at something of a strange company, and my long-term prospects there were iffy at best. I was dating a guy who was none too serious about me. I needed to lose weight, still. I had some furniture, my cats, a couple credit cards, fantastic friends, and absolutely zero idea what I was doing. I could not -- not even vaguely -- picture what my life would look like three years later.
I remember moving in and wondering when it would be that I'd ever move out again. I mean, what would the impetus be to ever leave? Surely I wouldn't stay in my cute little place forever, but...
Would I save enough money to someday buy a place? Would I find a killer job somewhere way outside the Bay Area? Would I go back "home" to the East Coast? Would I simply crave change and decide to move...someplace? Or what if (I'd wonder on my Bridget Jones + bottle of wine + Indian food take-out nights) I DID just stay forever? Just me and my cats and my yarn, here in apartment #5, becoming the building's ever-increasingly spinsteresque resident, leaving anonymous notes in the lobby blaming my neighbors for noise and poor laundry room habits.
Or? Or, well, there was that other option. The one where maybe I'd meet a great guy, and we'd go through the various Stages of Dating in Our 30s, and eventually decide to take that next step together and wander off into the sunset. (Where by "sunset" I mean "joint utility bills.") But I knew better than to plan for that.
No, I most definitely did NOT plan for that.
While all of this crazy "life" stuff has been going on, so have Ish/Pete and I. And through those good, bad and ugly Stages of Dating in Our 30s (oof!), we've managed to make it work.
So exactly 2.5 years after our first date, on this February 6, we will be picking up the keys to our first apartment together.
And this means I'm at once nostalgic and thrilled. I can't wait to be in the new place, and I can't believe I'm really going to let this apartment go. I moved in here knowing anything was possible, and now I guess "anything" has happened. I've come a long way. We've come a long way.
(We still have a gloriously long way to go.)
As it stands, I love the life I've had while I've been here, in my space, on my own. It's done a fantastic job at preparing me for the life I'll keep on loving.
Just, someplace else.