I’m 6 months pregnant. Last week my feet and ankles swelled so much that my shoes didn’t fit. I think it was because I’d been on my feet more than usual for our move.
…Oh yeah: we moved. To Fort Greene, Brooklyn. I’m loving the neighborhood, but the apartment… it’s hard. It’s an old building, and a weird set-up, but parts of it are so charming, and we have a cute little nursery, and great light, and trees out the windows, and a deck… parts of the apartment are undeniably run down, though, and I’m struggling to figure out how to make them nicer without breaking the bank.
Pinterest helps. So does patience. I know I can’t make it beautiful and “mine” overnight. But having a beautiful, comfortable home is more important to me than almost anything. I know that must sound superficial, but I am a domestic goddess. My home is my castle. When it reflects and inspires me and us the way I want it to, I feel like I have a strong home base from which to face the world. I can rest, relax, play, dream… I can welcome people into our home and feel like I’m sharing a part of myself. This brings me great joy.
It’s hard to achieve this standard in New York, where the real estate market is, to put a fine point on it, fucked. You pay so much for so little. What’s the answer: leave New York? For where? After a while, a place becomes home. You’ve put down roots. You start to feel attached. And the idea of playing spin the bottle with a globe and dropping your pin whereever becomes less appealing. What about the people, the community?
I’m not sorry we left DC, though I am sorry not to live in the same town as many of the people there. It was a classic case of “yes, and” — yes, we love our community, and, we need to spread our wings and fly. We both felt it, deep in our bones. Our souls. DC was not the place for us. We always felt like fish out of water. I don’t feel that way here. I just feel like it’s really, really hard to find a nice apartment.
Who knows what the future holds? Well, a baby, for one. And I look in on the nursery, which is curently decorated with just a fluffy white chair and a window sill full of stuffed animals, and it makes me smile. This is home. Walls will be painted. Entryways will be feng-shui’d. Landlords will be figured out. In a few months, we’ll sit on that deck of ours, holding our baby in our arms, gazing out at the trees and the sunset stretching across the Brooklyn sky, and we will be home.
“Tonight is a night to pour a glass of red wine and write something beautiful.” I tweeted that an hour or so back. I could feel the words that needed to be said – like giving birth. Right now Cosmo is napping nearby in the quiet apartment; the only sound is a staccato hum of cars whizzing by a few streets away. The lamp emits a warm glow. Soon I’ll shut down my laptop and pad upstairs to bed, and Jordan will join me. Tomorrow, to-do lists await, and there are worries a’ plenty, as well as plenty to be grateful for. Plenty.
One day we’ll look back on these days, and our hearts will ache, and we’ll smile, and say, “Remember that place in Fort Greene?”