It’s not you; it’s not me. It’s you and me! We’ve both changed.
You were the only neighborhood I had spent a considerable amount of time in before moving to Minneapolis following my few-year stint in good ol’ Sheboygan, Wis. I had truly moved on up in the world — going from my daily newspaper editing gig to a hoity-toity corporate communications job — and dammit I was getting that deLUXE apartment in the sky (aka a luxury apartment that had displaced probably good businesses and people before I came along to gentrify it further).
The 700-square-foot apartment fit myself and my pup pretty nicely, offered a pool (that I used one time in four years), a dog park (where dogs and their asshole owners would spend time), community spaces (filled with people I didn’t want to get to know) and was in close proximity to a lot of restaurants, friends and lakes (not shitting on this, it was the redeeming aspect). So I took it! It just never felt like a real living space.
We went through a lot though, didn’t we? Two relationships plus a handful idiots and jerks sprinkled in between and after, lots of Netflix streaming, literally no cooking at all — good times. Then there were the drunk bros constantly yelling, the elevator always breaking down, the never-ending road construction and nobody wanting to visit me because of the difficult parking. A guy, no joke, picked me up for a date and told me, “I’m never coming back here again.” And I defended you! “This is where the action is! I’m not even 30 yet! I accept the inconveniences because of everything the location offers!”
He sucked anyway, and not just because of that, but a little because of that. Anyway, I had your back for some time despite you constantly changing (remember Scena? Coup d’etat? Prairie Dogs? Jackson’s? Dulono’s? ARBY’S?) and me having to make adjustments around those changes. In the four years since moving here, though, I have changed, too. I know who my people are, where my places are and that I don’t have to compromise my mental health by continuing to live in a situation that isn’t serving me to have those things.
There’s this bad habit I have where I stay in situations for longer than I should because I can’t just end them. For instance, that second relationship? Five months too long, definitely. This apartment? A year too long. I was prepared to leave but not mentally ready to go through the anxiety and stress of finding something new on my own, especially having just ended the five-months-too-long relationship. That additional time spent with someone or in a situation where you’re already checked out only lends itself to resenting everything they do, and I am only now realizing the impact it had on me.
So I’m ending this! Thanks for the times and lessons. I’ll be honest, I’ve already been back once but as an outsider it was more bearable. Because afterward, I got to go home — my new home — an actual home, with my person.
See ya around,