When I first moved to Long Island I had one goal in mind: Find a cheap apartment.
Yes, that sounds very stingy, but there are a few things you need to fully understand before we get into this further:
- My home is the place I go to sleep at night and not too much more. Truthfully, this has changed as I’ve become more of a homebody, but when I first moved here that was the purpose of this nest.
- I was coming from upstate New York where my cost of living was literally 1/3 of the price. Wowza.
- At 22 I was used to dorm living, shady college housing, and horrific conditions- including, but not limited to: a homeless man living secretly in the basement and having a mouse crawl over me in my sleep.
Moving from five hours north was exhilarating and terrifying all at the same time. My biggest concerns centered on not knowing anyone in the surrounding area and… just that, I knew no one. And truth be told, it’s hard to make friends in your twenties. My new boss smelled out my fears and suggested, why don’t you move into this wonderful little beach town not too far away. So I did just that, with my cheapskate intentions to guide me.
Well, it turns out nothing is cheap in Long Island. Especially when you want to live by the beach, so I settled with the lowest cost I could find- $1280 for a itsy bitsy, teeny weeny,
yellow polka dot apartment. Le sigh. Now, the owners of this place created a litany of rules including: we wont take care of anything, but god forbid you make the place look better (ie: paint, install new wood floors) we will charge you and make you replace everything the way it was. True story. So, I kept it the way it was. I didn’t replace the smelly carpets, the ugly 1970s tiling, or paint the vacant looking walls. I always had in the back of my mind: this is temporary, and it wasn’t too bad considering I could walk to the beach, bike ride around town, all while enjoying a great social scene (with all of my non-friends). Also, this place was solely for sleep because we all know I wasn’t cooking. I also couldn’t afford cable or internet at the time, so it wasn’t the most exciting place to hang out in by myself.
So, now that I’m older, wiser, splitting rent with my boyfriend, and making more than I was four years ago, I must have a bangin’ apartment, or my very first home, right? Wrong. I’ve lived in the same apartment for over three years. And I have put zero effort into my surrounding environment because: This is temporary.
Unfortunately, temporary has turned into almost four full years and the white walls, now cracking due to the lovely salty air, are just heinous to stare at. After staying inside on Friday and Saturday I couldn’t take it any longer. I re-did the most important room in my place: my bedroom.
As I sit here typing from the newly arranged setup, staring out into my lovely Woodlawn Blue walls, I feel a piece of peace. My room is tranquil, and calming, and now I regret only one thing, that I stopped looking into my future and saying, it’s temporary. And if it was, big whoop. I would have to repaint the walls boring white. Last night, when all was said and done I acknowledged that this is my home and it’s more than a place to lay my head at night. Also, I bought new sheets with a very high thread count and let’s just say they are super comfortable. Take that more expensive apartments!