This might surprise people, but we’ve signed a lease extension for our current apartment; we’ll be staying at least another year. We’ve put up with a lot over the years here: our bathroom has flooded repeatedly because of broken plumbing upstairs; our heat and hot water go out at random times on the coldest nights of the year; the exterior door is often broken and unlocked; there’s a church next door that worships loudly using its PA system. I could go on.
We talk about these things a lot on Facebook, and people keep saying we should move, and yet here we are, staying another year. Why?
Here’s my reason. Jen’s might be different, but this one’s mine: Since leaving my mom’s house at the age of 18, I’ve moved a lot. I’ve never lived anywhere longer than three years. Now that we have kids, I want that to change. I want to learn to be rooted to a place again. For all its faults, this is a good place to root myself to:
- The apartment itself is great, especially now that we’ve nearly finished tricking it out the way we want it. (The adults’ bedroom is the only holdout, and we have plans for it.)
- Both kids learned to walk in this apartment; don’t underestimate how much that means to us.
- We have a great network of friends we met after moving here — fellow parents we met on a local listserv. Most of us have now had, or soon will have, second kids, and we do meal trains for each other, where we take dinner over in the weeks after childbirth, to support harried, sleep-deprived parents.
- Moving is hard. Moving in this neighborhood is even harder; it’s difficult finding apartments in our budget around here. If we leave the neighborhood, we leave our friends behind. We’re not eager to do that.
- We’re looking ahead and seeing a day when we might leave NYC again, especially now that Jen’s parents have moved to Virginia. That could happen in a year, maybe two. Staying put gives us a chance to assess our options without having to also move two adults, two kids, and two cats.
We won’t stay here forever. We already want a larger space, maybe with outdoor space again. But I think when we do move, it will be out of town, and not just to another address in Brooklyn or Queens.
I’ve already stopped griping about small things, the inconsequential annoyances of this particular apartment. After all, every dwelling has its flaws, and there’s no sense in bitching about them. I save my complaints for the health-and-safety stuff: the heat, bathroom leaks, etc.
So even though we might seem crazy, we’re staying. it’s nice to feel like my apartment is also my home for a change.