March 23, 2016

On Oakdale Avenue

I am historically sentimental about leaving one home for another. Growing up, I cried through every single move — from Hampton Place to Washington Street to Hampton Place to Washington Street (yes, twice) to Grant Street to Lincoln Street. There were many Hinsdale houses, but the concept of packing my life into cardboard boxes never got easier.

My apartment on Oakdale Avenue in Lakeview was the first place that felt like my own. I moved here in September 2013, and I stand amazed at how much has happened since then.

Some of my memories are lovely ones: Cooking a paleo dinner and drinking red wine on my first night here. Unpacking with my new roommate and designing our not-so-little space. Long walks to the lake and trips to Trader Joe’s. Our housewarming party. Waking up to snow-covered treetops. Setting up my itty-bitty Christmas tree (replaced this past year by a better model.)

I also had some not-so-good times here: Sobbing over ants in the kitchen (hashtag melodramatic.) Loneliness, especially at night. Difficult conversations. That time my roommate and I thought pumpkin pie vodka was a wise purchase. A snowpocalypse.

This apartment saw me transition from journalism to real estate. It welcomed friends, both old and new. It taught me to be patient with dirty dishes and noisy neighbors. It didn’t judge my cheetah print pajamas and messy ponytails. It gave me a place to be myself.

Tonight is my last night on Oakdale Avenue. I blasted Frank Sinatra (my roommate is on her honeymoon, so you know I cranked up the volume) and packed up the rest of my belongings. In the morning, the movers will arrive to bring everything to my new condo on Goethe Street. I’m nostalgic and a little bit weepy, but after two-and-half years here, I’m ready to end this chapter of my life.

On to the next chapter.