An Ode to Life in 650 Square Feet

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You were meant to house one person and all their things, you were perfect for that, but in the hustle and bustle of wedding planning, we didn’t have the time or energy to look for somewhere else to go. You were supposed to be temporary, three or four months tops. Life in 650 square feet is cramped.

I move in while Jordan is out of town partially because I know we’d spend the entire weekend fighting over where things should go, and partially because I’m terrified this isn’t going to work out. I have a breakdown alone in the kitchen because I think there is no way we can coexist in such a small space. My mom comes to help me piece together two lives into one space. Life in 650 square feet forces ingenuity.

February comes. We don’t move. This isn’t so bad after all. Life in 650 square feet is cozy.

Jordan learns that I don’t like to be bombarded when I first walk in the door, and I learn I should not do Jordan’s laundry. Life in 650 square feet breeds compromise.

We become obsessive about keeping things tucked away in drawers. One piece of laundry on the floor suddenly becomes a huge safety hazard and an enormous eyesore. Life in 650 square feet encourages neatness.

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We fall asleep listen to the nightly soundtrack of our upstairs neighbor banging his girlfriend and the guy next door hocking loogies, smoking cigars and talking on his Bluetooth till five AM right outside our window. Life in 650 square feet is trying.

I make tacos. It smells like tacos for six days. We use the bathroom. Suddenly everywhere smells like the bathroom. Life in 650 square feet is an olfactory wonderland.

We have people over never. No one wants to come hang out in your bedroom, we’re not in college anymore. Life in 650 square feet is anti-social.

Winter comes, and with it two major ice storms. The space is closing in. We have one place to sit, one place to lay, and nowhere to go to get away from each other. Life in 650 square feet is claustrophobic.

Our building catches on fire. We are lucky to not suffer any damage and to have family close by, but we are displaced for almost a week. Our door is boarded up. The hallways smell like smoke. We are allowed five minutes in our apartment to grab everything we need. Jordan goes for the golf clubs first. Life in 650 square feet is unpredictable.

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I quit my day job to start a business. I set up my desk in the living room. I now spend all of my time at our place. The transition doesn’t hit our wallets as hard as we thought it would. Life in 650 square feet is economically efficient.

I take Skype calls at all hours in our living room with Jordan tinkering near the edge of my computer’s video frame. I interrupt Jordan’s nightly Dr. Phil viewing to take phone calls. There’s no escaping each other. There’s no separation of work and personal life anymore. Life in 650 square feet is confusing.

We go to the beach. We sleep in a king size bed. There is no neighbor hocking loogies. There are no sounds of people banging each other. Life in 650 square feet is not the only life there is.

We entertain ourselves by looking at pugs on Instagram every night before bed. Life in 650 square feet is not the pug life.

We begin to realize that it’s time to move on. Life in 650 square feet doesn’t last forever.

Friends ask when we are going to move. Why don’t we just get a bigger apartment? Do we like the torture? Is it torture? Or is it an exercise in throwing yourself together head first, making a choice to get right in the thick of it with each other and make it work? Life in 650 square feet creates mixed feelings.

We buy a house on a whim. Life in 650 square feet is coming to an end.

We think about what life will be like after this. Ahh, the space! A yard! Friends can come over again! The bills! The responsibility! The maintenance! Life in 650 square feet is uncomplicated.

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We remind ourselves that there is a season for all things, and in the season of being newly married and newly cohabiting we did the best thing we could possibly do: we dove head first into the extremeness of it all. We were extremely close, extremely efficient, extremely tidy, and now we are extremely grateful. Grateful for all the things most take for granted that we will have now (our own closets, a garage, trash right outside the door, no attached neighbors!), and so so grateful for the lessons life in 650 square feet taught us.

We learn that home is not about the walls, the furniture, or the space, it’s about the life you lead and where you lead it. We begin to realize for the first time that we are a family. Life in 650 square feet will be missed.

 


 

God willing we will close on our house today, and if all goes well begin the moving process very soon. I am taking the next ten days off to move, get my head back on straight, and focus on making our new house a home with Jordan. I will be back at it on February 10th. I’m excited to get started on new projects in my real big girl office, but please know that over the next ten days I will be completely unplugged so that I can be really ready for action upon my return. I will see you all back here in a few weeks!