Right now it’s about ten minutes after Eight at night and I’m sitting in my office staring at a blank computer screen. The internet is down and no pages are loading. The mall is quiet, even with the opening of the Harry Potter movie tonight. The Christmas lights are lit, the tree is trimmed, the children are freezing their little collective butts off waiting in line for the movie to start. My eye lids grow heavier by the second, and yet I know I won’t be leaving here until after 2am most likely.
I shouldn’t complain.
This time last year I was working Graveyard shifts. I was working any shifts I could get my hands on just to keep myself at 40 hours a week so that I could afford my brand new apartment I had just moved into.
It was a nice place. It had TONS more room than the other place I had lived in. The place I had before had a door, but no windows. It had a closet, but no electrical plugs. It had a cold tile floor but no security. I didn’t really care for living in South Central Los Angeles, but I survived it, and it was yet another story to share in my list of life’s events.
Boxes were still piled in my floor at my new place. I had moved in on November 16th and had been working so much that moving wasn’t fitting in to my schedule. I knew I would have to get it done eventually, but I didn’t have anywhere to put my stuff. I told myself that I would get a dresser as soon as I could afford it. It was December 3rd when I headed to Ikea and got myself not just one, but two very short dressers. I stayed up until around 3am building them, knowing I had to get up early the next day for morning shift. I didn’t mind a bit.
By the time they were built, I was so tired that I lay down in the floor and slept among the boxes. I didn’t have a bed yet so it didn’t really matter where I slept. I had no furniture except for the two dressers I had just built and the one heater in my place was down stairs by the floor anyway. I curled up next to it like a kitten would a fireplace and slept soundly on the solid floor. The next day after work I spent the evening putting the dressers up in the crawl space loft and filling them with the contents from the boxes.
It was a few days later when the television mysteriously ended up in my car trunk. It wasn’t long after that when another mysterious delivery was made – dishes from a closed down sushi restaurant magically ended up in the passenger seat of my unlocked car. Then came the Sake glasses, the bottle of champagne, the framed art and other odds and ends, probably from the same restaurant. Bill gave me a book shelf, another friend found a mattress still in it’s plastic sleeve that was to be discarded and delivered it to me, and soon thereafter I found several tables and an old wicker couch on the curb. In no time at all, I had an apartment full of things that made it look like a real home. I couldn’t have been happier.
I’ve been in that place for a year now, or a few days past a year. It’s been an incredible time of self discovery and a real challenge. Always before I had help from a room mate or a boyfriend. This time, I did it all on my own (with help here and there from friends and one very kind family member) and I’ve once more reached my goal.
Last year, on New Years, my New Year’s Resolution was to survive on my own for a full year in that place. I would eat better, I would work harder, I would take care of myself more, I would take a vacation, and I’d do it all on my own.
Well, that year is up.
It’s time to move on to what’s next.