A Benediction from Apartment No. 2072
Monday, October 28, 2013
Last weekend I moved out of my apartment. Emotion overwhelmed me as I packed up my first dreamhome. As I packed, I wrote what will be "the original Denver Dreamhome" a love letter and a benediction.
Dear Apartment No. 2072,
Some girls chart the chapters of their lives with jobs or guys or haircuts; I do it with the places I've lived. You, No. 2072, are inextricably linked to every memory I have from the four years of tremendous growth we spent together, and in the end, you were the one that built me back up from a lonely twenty-three year old working desperately to build a life in a new city. I arrived scarred and feeble and I left happy, healed, and whole. We both know it wasn't easy.*
When we met, I was as burned out as a taper candle once standing tall, and now only left with the wax dripping down the side of the candlestick to which it is affixed. A candle that once lit a room but now only flickered, gasping for oxygen, fuel, and heat. You were more charming than the other shoe boxes I'd seen on my tour of way too expensive hovels, but your white lacquer Hollywood regency mantle and location close to my office didn't soothe my weary bones and battered emotions.*
It was your resort-style living complete with poolside cabanas that lured me in, but our history together and the sense of home you provided is what held me here. You were the first miracle in a series of miracles God performed in my life as He rebuilt me anew. You were my rehab, my refuge from the war, and my sanctuary from the storm when failure hit over and over like the high tide hits the beaches of California polishing its shores.
Now failure is busting you wide open so that you can learn what true success means: being a whole person, someone with balance and compassion. Hitting bottom hurts like hell. But I promise you that some of the best things in your life will come out of it. You'll learn to say "I don't know what I'm doing with my life." You'll develop a taste for the happiness you can have just from living a life, from mundane, everyday pleasures.
- Jane Kaczmarek, What I Know Now: Letters to My Younger Self
It was here that Paper & Glam rose from the dead. It was here where I bought my first couch and led my first small group. It was here that I read every word of God on every page He wrote in one year. It was here that I found myself, my hope, and a love for life as it is actually unfolding.
It was here that I felt the overwhelming love and the sense belonging I wanted so fiercely to believe was real, and as reliable as the rising sun.
I experienced this vast, expansive, infinite, indestructible love that was mine all along. I've discovered that this love is as wide as the sky and as small as the cracks in my heart no knew about. And I know, deep in my bones that love wins. - Rob Bell, Love Wins
It was here that I brought Sunday home on Christmas Eve, and taught her to dance in the kitchen with me while I wash dishes.
Every day for four years I've opened your front door and exhaled relief as your walls embraced me and inhaled the smell of espresso and the Jonathan Adler Barbie Dreamhome candle burning in the corner of the living room like a lighthouse beckoning me home.
Apartment No. 2072, I pray that whoever resides here next feels the presence of God as I have felt Him every morning. I pray your next resident can sense the complete heart change that took place here and undergoes one of their own.
As I turn off your lights one last time, and stare at the empty teal and pink walls that held me tight, know that you were loved, deeply you were loved. I walk out with what is at the heart of being twenty-something: my own history, my own memories, my own path to a career and community, and ultimately, a life I can call my own.
Thank you Apartment No. 2072, because of you I know grace in way I only prayed was possible and I will spend the rest of my life grateful for our time together.
In homage, I made my first YouTube video, a home tour of my first apartment. If you'd like to walk through it with me here, I'd be honored. Disclaimer: This is my first video, so the filming is a little rough in a couple spots and I say kind of, kinda a lot. I also made this montage showing the transformation of my apartment from the day I signed my lease through the day I started packing to move out.
*Adapted from A Letter to My Crappy One-Bedroom by Jill Kargman in It's A Wonderful Lie: 26 Truths About Life in Your Twenties