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  • Writer's picturepamradtkerussell

Waking Up to Endless Possibilities

Just a month ago I was sharing an apartment AND a house with my ex-husband. For 16 months one of us stayed in the house with our daughters for a week, while the other stayed in the apartment we shared. It’s called nesting, and it worked relatively well.

We switched every Sunday between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. after cleaning and doing laundry wherever we were staying.

I am not going to lie, those first weeks alone by myself in the apartment were extraordinary.

I had the whole place to myself. I didn’t have to do anything. Sometimes I just sat on my floor and cried. Sometimes I got a hamburger and a bottle of wine and binge watched “Grey’s Anatomy.”

My time was my own, even if the place wasn’t.

Earlier this month we sold our house and I moved into a bright, airy, second floor apartment with my daughters. It’s been nothing short of a pain in the ass. Endless trips up the stairs. Furniture that wouldn’t fit. Other furniture damaged by the move. I still have two dozen plus boxes to unpack and, honestly, I have no idea where I’m going to put the stuff inside them.

It’s also been nothing short of a miracle.

On the first morning I woke up here, I was surprised at how different I felt, not just being away from my ex-husband, but being in my own place.

I felt free. I felt unburdened. I was in MY apartment. My own space. I have not lived on my own since I was 23, and then it was only for a short period.

I woke up that first morning in my apartment realizing this was what I had wanted for a while—to live on my own terms, to not have to compromise for anyone.

Because of that, I already love this apartment more than the beautiful home that we renovated and turned into our dream house. I love it more than the Victorian on Algiers Point or the century-old farmhouse we lived in Northern Virginia.

I love it as much as I loved the first house I rented, on my own, straight out of college.

I feel like this apartment is an analogy for my life right now: It’s wide-open, bright and with endless possibility.

Many of our friends have come through the apartment and commented on the beautiful east-west light and the south-facing screened-in porch. One called our kitchen “fairycore,” and another called the place a treehouse. But one saw it and said “It looks happy.”

And it is, as am I.

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