One of the big concerns about moving to New York City is paying the price for a three bedroom house anywhere else for a walk in closet here. Its a luxury to have a closet and a dishwasher. If you can afford you’re own one-bedroom you’ll be the elite among your friends. The part about a walk in closet is a bit of an exaggeration, but its true you get less space here for your money. I thought it would be a tough adjustment going from my master bedroom equipped with my own bathroom and walk in closet. But turns out you really don’t need that much space to be happy. When I first moved into my old apartment I had this huge room and a new desire to fill it with stuff. All of a sudden I needed a chair for the corner, a vanity for the wall, throw pillows for my bed, pictures for the big empty walls. I became obsessed with filling my room with random crap. Looking back it is sort of a metaphor for how my life was at that point. I didn’t want to deal with the reality of the things I was dealing with so I filled my life and my room with stuff. I became attached to things instead of feelings. I let myself think about the lay out of my room instead of the path to my happiness. I equated a perfect home with a perfect life. When I was packing my stuff to move to New York City I ended up leaving or getting rid of probably 80% of the things I had bought or accumulated over my life.
I packed two suit cases, a carry on and a purse to come here. My room now is probably a third of the size of my old room, and turns out I’m no less happy in this room than I was in that. In this room, it just me. Its not all the stuff, its not the pressure to fill it with stuff. Its just my clothes out in the open (I don’t have a closet) a desk and my loft bed. There is something liberating about living with less. If I wanted to leave NYC and move to Germany tomorrow I could pack it all in the suitcases I have under my bed and be out of here with the passport I keep in my desk. I’ve made a home here not by settling in with stuff and hanging pictures on the walls, but by creating memories with my roommates and new friends. Instead of furniture to fill the space, we’ve filled it with the smell of late night pizza, or uncontrollable laughter at a stupid thing one of us said, or the sound of long deep conversations. Bigger isn’t always better. My small apartment is perfect for me.