Things: A Love Letter
I'm starting to pack up the studio that I've called home for the last year and a half, and I'm realizing that for the first time, I don't feel sad about leaving a place behind. I've loved my little studio, but like that moment when you realize you and a lover have outgrown each other, I had to concede that it was time for change. Moving is the only kind of change that makes me outright uncomfortable. My family moved around a whole lot when I was a kid, we were nomads in a sense, and I desperately craved the sort of home you see in movies. Movie homes were the place where kids were born and raised, where all childhood memories were housed. That's what I wanted, childhood memories all in one place and wall markings showcasing how much I had grown (not that there was much progress in that department).
When I moved to LA I started my first long term relationship with a home, a four year relationship in fact-- the longest that I've ever lived in any one place. Normal Avenue was my home for four beautiful years, and it was a torrent romance. I spoiled that place rotten, made it cozy, filled it with history. For the first time I painted furniture, strategically hung wall art, and as an added measure I began to cook, you know, to give it that authentic smell. As roommates changed over I had periods as a jealous lover-- overprotective to a fault and as a result passive aggressive when dishes were left in the sink too long (admittedly I was guilty of neglecting the dishes myself).
Moving into a studio was an act of rebellion, a rebound. As rebounds sometimes do, it taught me a whole lot about myself. My little place taught me the value of alone time, it shone a light on my lazy habits, but most importantly, it illuminated how much meaning I had assigned to my belongings. Spending time on my own led to the realization that I had built a flimsy home within my home. That is to say that I never fully trusted that Normal Avenue was mine, as I never trusted that any home would be a home for long. Over the years my home had actually been constructed from all the things I had accumulated, things to which I had assigned meaning and value-- a poor attempt at keeping the past alive. For years I have been a clingy lover, unwilling to let bygones be bygones (read that as Clint Eastwood). I have greedily held on to memories of "better times."
As I get older and get ready to move for the third time since moving to Los Angeles, I grow into the sort of romantic that I want to be. People say to hold on to what you love, but life has resoundingly taught me how little control we have over anything. Our time here is too short to force something to define us, besides, where's the romance in forcing anything to be? As Oscar Wilde said- "the very essence of romance is uncertainty."
I'm not giving up on this notion of home, instead I'm choosing to embrace that like love, a home isn't defined by any one thing. In a few weeks I look forward to saying goodbye to my studio. On my last day here I will thank it for everything it has taught me, and I will gladly pass on the key to it's next tenants. I hope that they learn as much from this studio as I did; may they fall head over heels in love and walk away when they've grown apart.