With this post we welcome Caitlin to our blogger team!
Growing up in a very traditional and conservative family, I’d always known that my parents expected me to live at home with them until I was married. So when I decided that my first move after graduating college would be searching for an apartment and living on my own, it was a big deal. No one in my family had ever left the nest or even dormed away for college, so mine was a situation they didn’t know how to handle. But while I understood my parents’ worries, it was time for me to break free. So with no one but myself and my dog (a 3.5-pound Yorkie named Augustus), I made a small one-bedroom apartment on the Jersey side of the Hudson River my new home.
Moving out when most of my family didn’t fully support my decision was difficult, especially when it came time to furnish my new place by myself, but it also gave me a sense of pride knowing that this new apartment would be (and now is) completely my own. I spent a lot of time choosing exactly the right color scheme for my living room (which also doubles as the dining room), picking out the bedspread pattern I wanted to wake up with every morning, and buying matching sets of silverware and plates. My goal was to personalize my space, since I’d be the only person living there, and to make sure that anyone who visited could catch glimpses of my personality in the smallest details. I’m something of a homebody as well as a writer, so I like for the atmosphere where I work to be inspiring and comfortable. With that in mind, I turned the plain white rooms into my personal haven. And after a full month of living there, I have to say: I’ve fallen completely in love with it.
Despite my family’s opinions about my leaving their nest, I did what felt right and am very comfortable with that decision. Moving out has marked a new chapter in my life, one in which I navigate the world on my own and do things my way. I’m far from perfect and still make mistakes, but that’s all part of the process. This experience, including (and maybe especially) the mistakes, has taught me a lot about how to make a foreign (yes, I considered the blank walls and unlived-in space of the apartment foreign when I first saw it) place livable and comfortable. I invite you into my home (figuratively, of course) as I continue on this journey towards independence, adulthood, and a beautiful living space. Let’s make this a great adventure.