Just This

On Renewal

This time last year, I was in conversation about a potential new job that would have me move back to my hometown for work I’d spent a decade preparing for. All the puzzle pieces fit nicely together and at the end of March I bade farewell to my dear New York City, making the cross-country trek back to the Midwest.

This time last year.

Is it possible? Has a year gone by so quickly? Didn’t I just get here?

Not according to the new lease that showed up in my mailbox last week. Indeed, it’s already time to revisit that perennial renter’s question: find a new place, or renew?

For the last 4 years, it hasn’t so much been a question as a predetermined fact: I’d be moving, again. It wasn’t until I landed my apartment in Williamsburg that, despite being far from perfect, I felt like I’d found a place I could stay for the foreseeable future. Fantastic location, affordable (relatively speaking) rent, enough space for me and my cat.

Now here I am not in Williamsburg but facing the same internal debate. To move or not to move?

Anticipating the inevitable, I started keeping an eye out for what my options might be for a next apartment, but ultimately the imperative to move wasn’t as urgent as before. Sure, I’d like a much shorter commute if I could swing it, but overall I’m happy with where I’ve landed. Great neighborhood, and amazing space for what I’m paying. Any move would have to hit some pretty high bars, including top among them a limited increase in rent for bolstered amenities/location.

In the end, I didn’t discover the gem I was hoping for before my lease renewal was due to management, so with a deep breath and a leap, I signed it and sent it off. And then something entirely unexpected happened: I felt at home.

Making dinner last night, sitting at my dining room table, watching a movie with my cat curled up on the couch…it all felt wonderfully cozy.

There’s still a lot to do and arrange to make the space – and my life within it – feel like it’s where it should be. After so much moving around the last several years, deciding to stay in one place for longer than a heartbeat is certainly a new sensation, one I admit I’m not wholly sold on just yet. But if moments like that evening with dinner at the table and all is a glimpse of what’s possible when I climb off the moving sidewalk that has been my life these last few years and stand still for a bit, I think I’m willing to give it a go.