If you’ve ever been to one of my apartments, you know I paint my walls with art. In preparation for my move, I took down all my art today and packed it. Normally, this day is a sad one for me. Suddenly my home isn’t my home anymore without the art on the walls.
But today was not a sad day for me. Though I will miss my neighbors and my neighborhood, letting go of this apartment is part of turning the page and letting go of a lot of painful memories. The pandemic. Cancer treatment. Nearly dying from cancer treatment. Break-ups. Old jobs. The loss of friends. The loss of family members. Phineas getting sick multiple times. As I took down my art, I let go of all those difficulties, all that sadness and disappointment.
There were plenty of wonderful times in these walls, too. Visits with friends. Unpacking a box full of copies of my first Emerson novel. Selling my second and third Emerson novels to a new publisher. Getting into the biomimicry program at ASU. Getting into the sustainability leadership course at Cambridge. Healing – for me and for Phin. Here, finally, I found peace and I will take it with me.
I’ve lived in this apartment for 6 years, longer than I’ve lived anywhere else as an adult. It’s a funny thing to be a renter, to live in a place where so many other lives have played out of people I will never know and never meet. Everything that happened to me here will never be known by the people who will live here less than a month from now. They’ll make their own memories here, and I’ll never know those stories. Only the walls know it all, and they keep every secret.