My housemates are calling this The End of an Era and it feels just as awkward to label it as it does to live through it. However, the time has come for me to move on to the next season of life and for me, that means moving out of my little room in my beloved Roosevelt House into a new larger, more consistent living space with two of my friends from Westside Church. Having lived at the Roosevelt House for the past 6 years, it’s been a surreal transition even from the get-go. The thought of leaving the Roosevelt House before entering into a romantic engagement was never fully formed in my mind. According to my road map, I’d stay there until there was a ring on my finger and a date set for a wedding ceremony. It appears that someone moved my cheese and things are shifting—for the bittersweet better!
The years I’ve spent there have been packed full with fun memories, treasured traditions, housemate dates, ugly cry sessions, hallway chats, and even recovering from one of the most traumatic experiences of my life to date. As I was procrastinating the beginning of the packing process, I looked back on some of these photos from when I first moved in and I barely recognized the place! My walls, once bare, were now covered in Christmas cards, love notes, concert posters, movie posters, and more memories than I could count. I moved into this house with next-to-nothing (seriously, the bed isn’t even mine—it came with the room!) and now I am leaving with boxes of memories, ready to be scrap-booked and set on a shelf in front of bare walls once again.
For the most part, my housemates have been a genuine source of positive momentum. In general, they haven’t had solid religious beliefs, which challenges me to share the truth of God in new and practical ways. It also gives me a constant perspective on life outside of the “bubble” of Christian thought. They’ve never judged me (well, except for one of them) based on my own religious beliefs and many times have asked me to pray for them and their families. And even those who have not been ideal housemates—a klepto, a sociopath, those with severe OCD, language/cultural barriers, personality clashes, and nudists—I have learned greater people skills, safer boundaries, and empathy on new levels. I’m still FAR from perfect, but I’m excited for another round with new housemates. My landlady has also been an incredible source of life and strength for me in my many years at the house. She’s let me become a part of her life when most in her position wouldn’t. She’s been an encouragement to me in hard times. She’s been more than a landlady . . . she’s been a friend! It will be hard not being able to see her quite as often once I move. I’m just glad we are still Facebook friends! :)
I have loved making traditions with those in my current place and look forward to even more when I move. The great thing about seasons of life is that we can take some of the best things with us into the next, while leaving the rest behind. One of my housemates already commented that when the next person takes over my room, she’s going to have a talk with that girl and let her know that she has “some big shoes to fill.” My other housemates are concerned they’ll get a weirdo to replace me and she won’t be as fun to live with. I hope to high heaven that the next tenant in my room embraces these incredible ladies and this house with their whole heart. I’ve mentioned it on more than one occasion, but my housemates have become my friends and I would ‘go to the mats’ for them in a heartbeat!
Leaving convenience is never easy. Moving to a new neighborhood means that the grocery store isn’t just a block away anymore. It’s no longer a 5 minute walk to the gym, it’s now a 20 minute commute (still worth it). I won’t be living 15 minutes away from the movie theater and transit center. There will be a lot of trial and error as I learn to navigate the new commutes, but I’m thankful that both buses near my new place will get me where I need to go quickly and that I’ll be able to get to know a whole new set of bus drivers. Moving from Northgate to Greenlake will introduce me to a whole new culture of people, pace, and places, which is pretty exciting!
What I do know is that once I move, the old familiar things like my favorite coffee shop (The Jewel Box Cafe) and Target shopping sprees will be much more appreciated and valued. It will cause me to plan better and become more efficient with my schedule, which I’m all about! However, it will create more distance between me and my best friend, Heather. Although she has a car, living in close proximity to her has been a comfort through the years. Truthfully, my initial move to the Roosevelt House was inspired by the comfort of home. Moving halfway across the country with no friends or family to call my own, I craved some form of stability and connection to my life in Texas. That came in the form of a mall, double decker Target, Ross, and eventually movie theater. Those were all happy places for me back home and not having grown up in a culture where each neighborhood has its own local markets and shops that people frequent it was a good transitional culture for me. After 6 years of living in Seattle and exploring almost all of the diverse neighborhoods, the move to Greenlake seems less scary and more filled with adventure.
Now this is where things start to seem a bit silly and wonderful. As I was taking a tour of the new house to decide whether or not it would be the right place for me to move to, there were a few things that drew me in. First of all, the front flower bed had these beautiful purple flowers that resembled Texas Bluebonnets, which I’ve grown up with and have always loved. Secondly, the upstairs bathroom tiles and layout reminds me of my grandmother’s bathroom—a little piece of traditions and memories. Thirdly, having a downstairs kitchenette all to myself is quite liberating! I love cooking and meal prepping, so the convenience of having my own designated space for that was a big sway. Fourthly, they are building a brand new Starbucks right on the corner by my new house! If that isn’t the voice of God, I don’t know what is! ;) Just kidding, I had already prayed about this move and felt comfortable with it, and after praying even more about the house after the tour I believe God has some special stuff in store for me in the new place with the new housemates.
I will miss many things about living in the Roosevelt House. Mainly, my housemates and my amazing landlady, but also other elements of communal living in that culture. There will also be things I don’t miss. What I hope I don’t miss the most during this move is the opportunity to make every last moment and new moment between houses count. I hope I don’t miss taking in the beauty of change, the treasure of growing friendships, and the renewal of a fresh start! For now, it’s packing, packing, packing. Then it’s off to Atlanta for a Children’s Ministry conference. The day after I return is moving day. And that next Monday begins a new Era—one I’m very much looking forward to! One month is all I get to hold on to what matters before letting go of my own plans and stepping into the one that God has in store!