Well, our move-in date was delayed yet AGAIN. Now we are scheduled to move in March 20th as opposed to March 12th. Lame, but what can we do? We don’t have a copy of the lease (but we have requested one) so we aren’t sure if we can legally get out of it. So many variables!
I asked my roommate what I should blog about and she suggested talking about my experience living in her living room and how it “changes your perspective on things.” Well, I can’t say that it has led to life shattering realizations, but it has definitely reminded me of the importance and ease of living minimally.
This comfy looking piece of furniture has been my bed for the last month. Well, first I was on an air mattress, but that took up the entire living room. While my roommate was house-sitting, I slept in her bed for a week, but when she returned, I moved to the couch. I haven’t had any back pain so far, thank god! The living room overlooks a busy Portland street, so I hear a lot of city noises at night. I love listening to the cars pass and the occasional drunk bum screaming incoherently. That sounds facetious, but it’s true! It makes me feel connected to a larger community and like I am living in the heart of the city itself.
As I don’t have a closet, most of my belongings are semi-organized into piles on the floor. I originally arrived in Portland with only a few shirts and one pair of pants in my weekend bag, but I’ve made a few trips to the in-repair apartment to get fresh clothes. I always hope I don’t see the same people at bars because I am usually wearing the same thing as last weekend!
This disorganization has shown me how little I really need. Why buy a $2,000 dresser when I can find a $200 one on Craigslist? Why spend $200 when I can find one for free and then refurbish it? Do I even really need a dresser? Sure, having my clothes on the floor doesn’t look clean and welcoming, but I’ve had friends over and they don’t even look twice at the pile. I’m sure I’m the only one who even cares. How many of our problems do we create ourselves?
These are our neighbors’ apartments. When I sit at the kitchen table, I have a direct view into the top two windows. During the day, it is nice to be able to look out and see what they are up to. The guy who lives in the top left apartment has a cat and a bunch of plants on his balcony. He waters them every other day but is rarely home. The people in the bottom left apartment tend to get glued to TV shows. Sometimes they don’t even sit down to watch. Several times in the evenings, I’ve seen the couple standing in the middle of the living room, staring at the TV for minutes straight. The roommates in the top right apartment have a guitar and occasionally all gather in the living room to hang out and play music. I’ve never seen the inhabitant of the bottom right apartment.
It may seem creepy that I know so much about these people, but I like that I can see their quirks that their coworkers or friends may not even know. I’m sure they have seen me sitting at the table and wonder why I drink so much french press coffee. It is a humble reminder that we as humans are all pretty similar on a functional level. We all look groggy when we wake up on the weekends and drink coffee while reading the paper or watching TV. We all invite friends over and chill on the couch. It is comforting to see that I’m not alone in sitting at home on a Friday night when my friends cancel our plans because I can see that my neighbor is doing the same thing. I think this is the same reason I love running outside at dusk. The bright lights inside of houses make it easy to see inside. You can witness families eating dinner or kids doing homework. Little moments you would never otherwise have seen.
I’m not sure if our new place has a window overlooking our neighbors. Our sunroom overlooks a parking lot of an employment center so there are always people coming and going. Perfect for people watching!