To Say Goodbye
So, I love my new apartment. When I came to Austin looking for a place, I chose the first apartment I was shown. I walked in and instantly new. At that moment as I stood at the center of what would become my apartment, I knew that Austin and I were meant to be. But if these past few months have shown me anything, its that things are never that simple. There’s far more give and take than that.
When I moved here, I went from being utterly excited about my new life, to in complete pieces when my old one drove away. It was heartbreaking. It was suppose to be heartbreaking. Change is never simple. And as I walked around my apartment again…alone…I realized that there were some serious changes ahead. For me personally….and for my apartment. I slowly began adding things every week. Flowers, lamps, rugs….but I knew the biggest change would be to the the walls around me. For a few months, I considered which walls I wanted to paint…and what colors would match my beautiful new furniture.
A month later and little had changed. I had added items here and there. My restroom was exactly as I wanted it (an egyptian theme). But my walls were still the boring white-tanish color that really added zero personality to the space I was trying to create. So, a few weekends ago, I pulled my lazy ass out of bed one Saturday morning and made my way to Home Depot. I have probably been to Home Depot about three times in my life. One was to buy a gift card for one of my former co-workers, another was to buy a magnolia tree for my Mom on Mother’s Day, and then that day…the day, I had decided I wanted to paint three walls in my new apartment. I don’t think I realize how lucky I am to have the apartment I have. It’s only when I’m in other people’s apartments do I realize what a great decision I made. I know that sounds completely big-headed of me, but I think it says something of my state of mind rather than my vanity. I don’t think I truly believe I deserve my apartment. I think in my mind, there’s still so much I need to do to make it mine.
And take it from me, there’s something very empowering about walking into a Home Depot. I mean the place in itself it all about improvement. Everyone that walks through its doors is looking to improve upon something. And so was I.
So, I walked to the Paint Department and started looking at various samples. I had an idea of what I wanted, so it didn’t take me very long to pick out the three custom colors I wanted for my three walls. I inevitably chose an avocado green for my living room (as it goes very nicely with my gray couch), a cinnamon brown for my dining area and an NYPD blue for my bedroom.
$134 later, I got home. I laid out the plastic protective sheets on my carpet, blue-taped the adjacent walls, and decided to start with my living room. I poured the avocado green into the paint tray, placed it on the plastic sheet, and found myself sitting on my couch staring at the walls. I was second-guessing myself. It was all suddenly happening too fast for me. But why? I had been so eager. I mean I got up early on a Saturday morning for this!!! Come on. I realized I was psyching myself out. And I also realized this apprehension was nothing unusual at all. In fact, I had faced it down many times before…and had folded to it…too many times than I’d like to admit.
It was Change. I remembered moving into the University of Incarnate Word dorms in the Fall of 2002 and moving out the very next day. I remember attending St. Mary’s University on a full-scholarship in the Fall of 2005, only to return home to Uvalde in the Spring. The change of it all had shook me. I think that’s what unfortunately stops a lot of us from doing what we know is better for ourselves. It’s the struggle between the old and the new, the complacent and the unexpected.
So, in my effort to get over myself, I got my ipod, put on my headphones, and painted my wall avocado green to Robyn’s “Dancing on My Own.” And as I painted, and the green strokes took charge of that once mundane space…I realized how good it felt and how much I needed it. But it wasn’t until my paint brush met that blank wall, that I realized it.