White Space & the Past 4 Years - a story of the roommate life and transitions
Around 4 years ago, I, Lori Crabtree moved into Colonial Grand at Crabtree off of Grove Crabtree Crescent not far from Crabtree mall. Yep, that happened.
In the span of 4 years, I've had 7 roommates in 6 different combinations: 2 through friends, 2 through Craigslist and 2 through church. One of which was completely insane to the point I asked the leasing office what I could do to have her removed. Luckily, though, I came home to an empty room and a $400 rent check for the following month with a request to never contact her again. Bonus for us, we got rid of a psychotic roommate, quickly found a replacement, split her rent check and went to the mall.
Two roommates got married, one moved closer to her job, one moved out due to big time personality differences and the crazy one? Not sure where she went. The last 2 stuck it out for my last two years here and all in all, it has been quite the entertaining run.
Four years of trash can jenga, "who used the rest of my parmesan cheese," and passive aggressive roommate wars. A minimum of 400 dirty sinks, 150 un-wiped kitchen spills, 60 dog poops by the dining room table and 5 pairs of underwear dragged under the bed. Two years of partying neighbors and two years of neighbors with children asking us for our wireless password on a monthly basis, when we "don't have internet." Four years of rude property management, huge centipedes and grammatically incorrect neighborhood "bulleNtins."
I've also had 4 years of nail painting parties and pizza nights. We spent our fair share of nights at Lynnwood Grill and various places in downtown Raleigh, and hours upon hours at Target - we're only a street away after all. We bonded over our hatred for the tupperware cabinet and broken hearts. We zipped one another's dresses, borrowed each other's earrings and met countless of each other's first dates who (thank goodness) got away.
Our lease is coming to an end on May 24th, and for the first time since unpacking in 2012, we are 3 for 3 on not renewing. To say I have loved the roommate life would be a bold faced lie, but to say I regret doing it would not be true either.
The majority of our things have already been moved out. Caroline moved out a couple of weeks ago, leaving us with no dining room table or living room furniture, and I've moved out all of my furniture except for my bed. Last night as I sat in an empty living room watching a TV that currently sits on the floor, the reality of our impending lease end started to sink in.
....and I started to freak out.
I'm one of those people who loves change and hates change at the same time. I have to have a plan, but I also like to be spontaneous. I like surprises, but I also want to be dressed for the occasion. Basically, I'm an indecisive mess sprinkled with side dishes of anxiety and excitement. And right now? I have no idea what my plan is, and that's the problem! I am temporarily moving back to Durham while I figure it out. I'll be an almost 30 year old living in my parent's basement. Just kidding, I'll be in a bedroom, but nonetheless...spending the summer living out of boxes, twice as far from my job, friends and boyfriend and melting in the heat without a pool. For goodness sake I'll be farther away from TARGET! How am I supposed to live my life?
Details aside, there is a lot up in the air about my future come August, and all of the "what if's" are on constant replay. As I was getting ready for bed last night, I choked (on the air, I guess) and began to cough. The cough echoed in my newly empty room and all of the sudden I had this thought. Sometimes when we are alone, the things that are stressing us out tend to nag at us, and "echo," not letting us truly rest. Like my cough echoed off of the walls, my thoughts were continuously reverberating off of my worry and negativity.
However, it was at this point that I realized that even in this empty apartment, full of moving boxes and blank spaces that I'm not really alone. Not only do I have friends and family, but God is with me every step of the way. I don't care if you think it's cheesy, because it's true. We've heard a lot at church lately about trusting God and having faith in your "white spaces" in life, and I think this is my white space. I'm going through life like a kid in shorts on a slide whose sweaty legs won't let them slide down smoothly (not a well articulated analogy but you KNOW what I'm talking about!) but in the end, the kid makes it down and I will make it through this transition. In the grand scheme of things, this is nothing. When I reminded myself that God was taking care of my future, I was able to silence my fears and actually fall asleep last night. If only that reminder would give us peace more often.
Let's be real though; if I made it through 4 years of the roommate life, I can make it through anything. So, farewell Colonial Grand and hello future. Today, I head toward you with confidence and peace... tomorrow, I may have a meltdown. That's okay, I'll just keep reminding myself who is in charge, and it sure isn't me.