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  • Now more a fond memory than a representation of my present reality, I took the left-most photo of this triptych in September 2009, just after moving into my tiny studio apartment and home for the past two years. It was a very new and exciting period of my life - the first time I had ever had my own place, and the physical marker of my move out of the realm of design and into the social sciences at my university. It was a big jump for me, and despite the smallness of the space, I felt almost lost in the depth of what it symbolized. Life at this moment seemed remarkably and wonderfully limitless, and simultaneously terrifying precisely because of this potential.

    Over time, the space became very much my home. In this single, roughly 11- by 13-foot room, I found a place for some of my deepest thoughts and discoveries, and in the process, made the place my own. I tended to plants on the fire escape, hung enormous makeshift curtains in place of the stained and broken blinds, and delighted in experimenting with the best arrangement for the physical pieces my daily life. One of my favorite activities, I baked countless treats in the miniature oven to share with friends, on some occasions doing so as I watched icicles form on the ceiling high above my stove, and on others gleefully imagining the relief that might come from completely shaving my head in the extreme temperatures and humidity of the summer. With no control over the heat, I was at the mercy of whomever lived across the hall from me during the winter, and sometimes, there was no one. And when summer came, despite the fact that all utilities were covered in my measly rent of $275 per month, I was too stubborn to use the window air conditioner.

    Yesterday evening, I handed off the keys to this place, and with this, let go of my sense of any clear home or physical place of belonging. Next week, I will be on a plane to Buenos Aires, Argentina, where I hope to find a home for the next four months while studying Spanish. After this, I have no discernible plan or vision for my life, and again, I feel within me a very strong presence of undefined and inspiring possibility. This time, however, my perceptions of the future are more tempered by all that I have learned and experienced since my first days in this space.

    I am, once more, excited and terrified by what the future may bring.

    As I say goodbye, I will miss the huge windows, the bookshelf, and the fire escape. I will not miss the persistent leak outside my door, the useless thermostat, or the faulty wiring.
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