I know, it’s been months. Let’s recognize it, and move along. Onto the prompt!
Journal Prompt: Describe your first apartment/house.
My first apartment was basically a shoebox. I know a lot of people say that about their small one room or one bedroom place they had in college, but I don’t know that there could possibly be an apartment smaller than my very first place in Philly. The apartment was a single room (not including the bathroom), and was, by my completely unscientific estimation, roughly 175 sq. ft. (including the bathroom and tiny closet).
I wish I had pictures I could post to demonstrate the claustrophobia of this apartment, because it’s difficult to describe. All I can say is that it’s a very good thing I’m not one for large quantities of material possessions … except for books. In fact, my books probably took up the most space, filling an entire five shelf bookcase I picked up at IKEA, along with a simple little end table, a small storage thing to give me the illusion of a kitchen, and the world’s smallest chest of drawers. I still don’t know how I managed to fit my clothing in something that I assume was made for toddlers.
When you added in my desk (my computer doubled as my TV), and my futon (which doubled as my couch), there was just about enough room for a single person to walk from one end of the apartment to another.
Having guests over was always entertaining. I had next to no seating, since all I had was my futon and my desk chair. If more than one person was visiting, then they were either staying in a nearby hotel, or sleeping arrangements got … interesting. My friends and I once attempted to sleep three to a full sized futon, and only mostly failed in the effort.
But despite the lack of space, I still really enjoyed that apartment. It was cramped, and dry, and unbelievably hot due to the radiator pipe that ran through my bathroom and made it impossible to shower with the door shut for fear of suffocation, even in the winter. But it was also the place where I finally felt grown up. I wasn’t living in a dorm. I was paying rent (albeit with help). I was solely responsible for keeping the water and the electricity running. I had to get myself to school and to work, and I had to shop for groceries and feed myself and my cat.
I taught myself to cook on the world’s smallest gas stove that I was convinced was going to kill me from carbon monoxide poisoning. I learned to navigate a strange city that scared the crap out of me from my crappy pressboard desk. I got a job, made friends, and found a life in a place miles from the place I grew up and felt safe. And I learned to call a brand new place home in the process.