After nearly five years in my New Center apartment — the longest I’ve ever lived in one place as an adult — I’ve come upon my last evening here. Tomorrow, I move to Ann Arbor for a one-year journalism fellowship at the University of Michigan. It is an unbelievable opportunity, and I’m thrilled about it. But as with any sort of change, it comes bundled with loss.
I am a believer in ritual, especially at times of transition, and I’d like to share a bit of it with you. I began by gathering music that has guided myself and my friends through big change, putting together a playlist imprinted with our collective transformation. And here, I’m offering a homage to a corner of the world where it took me a long time to feel settled — to put pictures on the wall, to finally buy a bed — but that has ultimately been very, very good to me.
I’ll miss the moody views of the Fisher Building tower from my porch and and my writing chair and my bedroom window, and I’ll miss how its golden light at nighttime guided me home like my own personal lighthouse. I’ll miss the friends who hollered my name from the street as they whooshed by on their bikes. I’ll miss the sunlit place where I did most of my writing and reading. I’ll miss the creaks in the floor when I tiptoed into the kitchen, and the northern view of the grassy park, and the fifty-some stairs up to my fourth-floor apartment (except on grocery days, and [ahem] while moving). I’ll miss the meals I’ve shared around the table, and on the candle-lit porch, and in what I dubbed “the reading room.” I’ll miss the Sunday morning hush that swallowed our whole neighborhood.
I’m grateful I landed here. A lot of growing happened here, and also great blessings. In this building, exactly one hundred years old this year, I’ve always loved to imagine the people who came before me. Now, I’m imagining who comes next. I hope the next person to live here finds a bit of the magic left behind.