This will be the first time that I've ever lived without roommates, and that's both exciting and also a little nerve wrecking to me. I'm really excited to have my own space to walk around (case in point: I can go into the kitchen in a bathrobe/wearing a face mask/without pants without feeling weird until Oliver is like, "why is your face covered in mud and also did you know the neighbors can see that you're not wearing pants??), BUT- it'll be weird coming home on days when he's at the gym or something and I know that my roommates' girlfriends won't walk in and let me talk
In prepping and packing, I can't help but to look around at the house that I've lived in for the past 4 years. It feels like it's been a lifetime since the day Audrey, Rachael, and I moved into our little "Beach Bungalow," and a lot of amazing things have happened there. I find it fitting that our move-out date is the start of a new year, and that I was there for kind of a 4-year life-education. I've been stupid lucky with the roommates I lived with there, and every single one of them left me with some great memories.
And so, because I'm feeling sentimental and because this is my blog and I can make it into a memory board if I want, here are a few signatures for my 19th Street Yearbook.
Audrey -- I am SO glad that you moved into that house with me 4 years ago. I didn't even know you at all before we moved in, and now I consider you one of my closest friends. We have plenty of stories that are too crazy to be put into writing here, BUT I hope you know how grateful I am for you every single day. I have such a huge level of admiration for the fact that you packed up everything and moved to Spain, and took such a brave and adventurous risk. I'm even more glad that you're back now, and that your growing family moved in next door. Being able to be so close while you're experiencing newfound motherhood has been so inspiring, and I am honestly dumbfounded with how you are floating through every minute of it.
Rachael -- Where do I even start? We knew each other for a few years before we were roommates, but I never knew how completely amazing you were until I got to know you in such a close proximity basis. You are fun and exciting and the happiest person I know, but you're also SO kind and caring and have an insane amount of love to give. I've never met anyone who balanced their life so well. Of course I've missed you terribly while you've been traveling the world these past few years. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't living vicariously through your Instagram feed! Every time you've come home from Spain or Korea or Italy, I've hoped that you'll stay and we can drink too much red wine and talk about life. But seeing how happy you are in New Zealand has me hoping that you stay there and continue to have the adventures that we're all tuned in to watch. I'm so proud to call you my friend, and I hope that I can come visit soon!
Denis -- My first boy roommate! You were so much fun to live with, and I miss coming home to hear you singing Ellie Goulding in your room when you thought no one heard you (seriously, though, for you having such a deep voice... nailed it!). It was really inspiring to see your relationship with Brittany, and how smitten you two were with each other. I was sad when she had to move away, but the fact that you got transferred to NorCal and made it work was seriously like a romantic movie plot. Thank you for trying to explain sports and Bit Coins to me so many times, and I'm sorry that I was never able to wrap my head around either one!
Kara -- This one is tough because of how everything ended up, and how much I want to be sensitive to the things that happened. Crummy things were said and done that can't really be taken back, but amazing things were also said and done, and that can't be taken back either. To focus on the latter- I'm grateful that you were such a flawless roommate to me for 2 years. After you left, I realized how much you did around the house (which, quite frankly, I think every person hopes their roommates will come to find!). There is a lot that I admire about your intelligence, passion, and your love & enthusiasm for the people you care about. I think we're both in really good places right now so even though things got complicated at the end, it seems to have all played out the way it needed to.
Stephen -- You are easily one of my favorite people on Earth. I'm sorry for trying to get your family to adopt me every time they came to visit. I know that you understand how incredible they are and how lucky you all are to have each other. I'm also sorry that I was so bossy with you whenever you were struggling with any personal stuff... I just cared so much about you and my way of showing it sometimes was to try to help you "fix" the things that were making you sad. Your intelligence blows me away, and that Carroll, Iowa mentality where every one should be kind to one another is something that I hope rubs off on all of us bratty Orange County kids. Thanks for making Halloween ornaments into Christmas ornaments with me, turning our concrete slab yard into an incredible garden, and for feeding me the best twice-baked potatoes known to man.
Jon & Tabitha -- I'm including you both here because you're both basically my roommates. Jon, I've known you more than half of my life and I have never seen you as happy as you are with Tabitha. And Tabby, you're so sweet and friendly, and it's been so much fun having you warming up our home with your bubbly personality. You guys have such an amazing adventure ahead, now that you're engaged. Jon, you are one of the only people from my youth that I've stayed close with, and it means so much to me that we're still friends. You're one of the few people I know who will always make an effort to be a part of my birthdays, get-togethers, and random hot yoga classes- because your friendships are truly important to you and I have a lot of respect for the way that you prioritize them. It's been a lot of fun getting to share a house and laugh at random internet memes with you over this past year.
Mike & Emily -- Last on this list but first at EVERYTHING, EVER. I am so grateful to have had you two living with us. Your energy, sense of adventure, and fun-filled attitudes have been infectious, and it's been amazing. I'm always so excited when we get to hang out, and have loved all of our uber-competitive game nights. Thank you for keeping Oliver and me from being so introverted all of the time, and for always having such upbeat attitudes. It's been inspiring to see how much you two connect and motivate one another through tough days at work, keeping your bodies healthy, and celebrating each other's accomplishments. One of these days I'll go to one of your crazy spin classes with you!! Love, love, love you guys more than you know.
So that's it. These people have been my biggest inspirations and most tolerant-of-my-craziness roommates for the past four years. I'm sorry that I hogged the TV so much, "accidentally" ate your bananas out of the fruit bowl, and offered you unsolicited advice. I hope that you had even a fraction of how much fun that I had living with you. Thanks for helping me to grow, be more tidy, and learn not to sweat the small stuff just a little bit more.