I'm not going to miss my next door neighbors -- the woman and son who scream at each other every single morning (and every evening when he is hungry for a burrito).
I'm not going to miss spending my Saturday mornings at the sketchy laundromat that smells of urine and wet rags.
And I'm not going to miss the impossibly narrow driveway that requires me to use my inferior spacial intelligence to maneuver my car in and out.
There are a lot of things I won't miss about my West Hollywood apartment when I move out tomorrow, but there is one thing that I am desperately sad to leave behind.
I still remember how excited I was the first time I saw it three and a half years ago. The gas stove, the working dishwasher, the clean tile counters and floor -- it was perfect. And huge. I couldn't get over all the storage space for my jumbo-sized cannisters of oatmeal, my grandmother's china dishes and my eclectic and ever-growing collection of mugs. It hardly seemed possible that I could be blessed with such an amazing space straight out of college. Didn't I have to earn the right to a great kitchen? Suffer through ovens that randomly decided to break down whenever they saw fit? Battle with a fridge that was either too cold or too warm? Develop chapped skin from washing all my dishes by hand?
I felt impossibly lucky to be blessed with such an amazing kitchen, and have continued to feel that way throughout the entire three and a half years that I've lived in my apartment. My kitchen has become a great source of pride for me -- not only because of its size, but because it is where I have developed and honed my cooking skills. I've spent countless hours in there - baking, boiling, sauteing, simmering, searing -- and as such, I've grown to view it as my sanctuary. I love padding into the kitchen in the morning to put on a pot of tea. I love tenderly stirring my oatmeal until it reaches the perfect sticky consistency. And I love coming home to it after a long day -- carefully slicing my veggies and chopping garlic, as I sip a glass of Sauvignon Blanc.
As I prepared my last meal in my apartment last night and whipped up my last bowl of oatmeal this morning, I was overwhelmed with a feeling of finality. "This is the last time I'm going to be using this spatula here." "This is the last time I'm going to be microwaving my green apple." "This is the last time I'm going to be washing this wine glass." I thought.
It's silly. It's ridiculous. But it's also indicative of how much I've come to identify myself with that space. It is part of who I am, and by leaving it behind, I feel like I'm losing a small part of myself as well.
My next kitchen is also a nice one, and in time, I know that I will come to view it in a similar way to the kitchen I'm leaving behind. I will come to appreciate it and love it for its special quirks and characteristics, and it will eventually become a part of my identity too. But right now -- in this moment -- I'm sad to say goodbye to those shiny tile counter tops. And the impeccably lined drawers and cupboards. And that space by the stove where my spoon rest sits. It's silly. It's ridiculous. But I'm going to allow myself to be an unreasonable, overly emotional female about this one.
Or at least until I hear my neighbor shouting out to his mom, "Mom! I'm hungry! I want a burrito!"