The time has come. In about 3 weeks I will be 30 years old and living in my parents basement. It’s not something I’m overly excited about for obvious reasons, but I recognize the importance of this step in the process. The amount of money I will be able to save while living with Mom & Dad will be well worth it.
So goodbye NYC studio apartment rent. Goodbye cable, electric, and gas bills. Goodbye paying for groceries. Hello, delicious home-cooked meals. I’m lucky that I have this option, and that my parents have the space and are well off enough that the increase in the food bill for a few months won’t negatively impact their pockets too much. Of course I will be losing my independence, and being able to simply do whatever I want, whenever I want. I now will need to consider my parents, as well as my grandmother who lives with them, when I am making any plans. After living on my own for 3 years, there will be a bit of an adjustment period. I can’t simply just hop in the shower whenever I want because perhaps someone else needs the bathroom. I can’t just leave when I want, because maybe my parents would like a night off from watching my grandmother, and me being home will allow them to go out for a change. After all they have done for me, and will be doing for me by letting me live with them, I owe them the world, moon, sun and stars.
A longer commute awaits me (an hour on the train as opposed to 15 minutes). Living in the suburbs and having to share a vehicle with my new roommates/parents will be frustrating at times I’m sure. But living with my family will also give me a great opportunity to spend some quality time with them before I venture out on this journey. I don’t know exactly where life will take me, and the possibility that I may not live in NY again is real. So besides the obvious negative pain points, it will be a nice experience. I’ve always been close with my family, and I’ve never lived longer than a 45 minute train ride away from them, so it will be nice to spend some valuable time around the dinner table before taking off for the foreseeable future.
I’ve begun to sell some furniture in my apartment, even though my parents have the room for me to keep it. I want to keep my clutter and things to a minimum and don’t want to have my stuff taking over the whole basement. Plus, it’s a good opportunity to minimize my life a bit, while also making some cash that will help on my travels. My apartment is starting to look emptier by the day, and it leaves me sad and excited at the same time. Sad that my time living independently in NYC is coming to an end. Excited that the next step of my life, and my upcoming travels, are coming clearer into focus. I will miss waking up on a Saturday morning in Queens and heading to the local coffee shop for a hot cup and a good book. Although I have a love/hate relationship with NYC, I’m sure I will miss the energy and vibes of living in the city a bit, even though I will still be working there for a few more months. It was a good ride, and living in NYC on my own was always a dream of mine, and now I am lucky enough to say that I realized that dream. Now it’s on to the next dream. Living as a vagabond where my home is wherever I am at that moment, and my belongings fit in a 60 Liter pack on my back.
Like I said earlier, I realize I may never live in NYC again, and if I do, the circumstances may be wildly different. The bargain rent that I paid will likely never come again, as rent-controlled apartments are scarce and I cannot expect to hit the lottery twice. Giving up this apartment has not been easy, but the time for change has come, and I am embracing it. When I really think about it, if I had a friend or relative take over my apartment, it would only make it that much easier to return to this same apartment one day and settle right back into my old ways. I’d be in a familiar neighborhood, with familiar local stores, bars, roads and restaurants. Before you know it, I’d be falling back into old habits and behaviors, and basically living the life I had before I left. In giving up the apartment, it ensures that I am choosing change down the hypothetical road, instead of something that I already know and am familiar with. Even though I’m a math/financial/budget oriented thinker, sometimes in life the cheapest rent isn’t always the best decision.
So even though I will still be commuting to work in Midtown Manhattan until the end of July, I will spend these next 3 weeks doing the things I have come to enjoy so much over the past 3 years living in NYC. Even the simple, mundane things. The local coffee shop, bagel place, and restaurants that I have come to know and love. The happy hours with friends after work. Brunch on the weekend. The walk to and from the train station to the apartment. I’m not sure if I’ll enjoy doing laundry, but I will appreciate it a bit more. It’s funny that my department at work has been merged with another, and I have spent the past few days not only packing up things in my apartment, but also at my desk for a move to a different floor. It seems like my life is engulfed in change right now. And right around the corner, more change is a coming.