It's been almost a month since I got back from my UK work-ation. A lot has happened and not much has happened at all. On Monday I turned 28. Yesterday I bought my first apartment on one of the most magical blocks in all of New York City. It feels pretty weird and wonderful. As as a perma-lancer and a self-employed small business owner, I always dreamed of having something to call own, but at the same time it never quite felt fully within reach. (I can't imagine anyone cares to hear the extended version, but long story short, I spent the previous several years also exploring the possibility of moving out of the city to a small farmhouse, cabin, or reclaimed barn in upstate NY or even back to my home-state, Virginia.)
I moved to New York 10 years ago to go to school, and almost immediately started asking questions about ownership when I moved to my very first apartment on Sullivan Street. But I was a student and could barely afford a falafel, much less an apartment in one of the most expensive real estate markets in the world. But that's when it all began for me—when I truly fell in love with this city, and owning a little piece of it became something important to me. There's just something beautiful about all these little boxes of living spaces, one of top of the other, all unique, and all together comprising this amazing metroplis. Old tenements, former factories, buildings whose details sing the architectural eras in which their foundations were set...the walls of this city are breathing with all the stories of the diversity of lives they have contained—and afterall, it's the people not just the bricks that make a city great (and in my opinion, the people are New York City's strong suit). It's for this reason that I could never quite see myself in something new. It just wouldn't feel right.
When I quite accidentally stumbled across my little 1940 built art deco building in the West Village, I can't quite say I was expecting to fall in love. But 3 days later I put in an offer, and 3 months later I have its keys. It feels like a huge step in my life—in feeling independent, and confident, and safe. I'm not quite sure I've worked out all the details in my own head, but I also feel like it's some huge shift for my livelihood. I've always done my illustration from a home studio, and now I feel like I've given ZSO studio more of a permanent place to set its roots and grow. I know one day too I'll do all this all over again with an awesome fella, but right now it just feels really good to know it's possible on my own too. I'm a strong believer that you have to have confidence in your ability to take care of yourself before you can take care of anyone else.
Over the past 8 months I've slowly been learning about Eastern philosophy through weekly acupuncture visits, astrology through my friend Donia's new astrological consulting business, psychology, various kind of meditation, The Presence Process, etc. One thing I've been learning and tuning into is that lifecycles supposedly happen in units of 7. It makes a great deal of sense—age 7 one leaves childhood and enters adolescence, age 14 one becomes a young adult, age 21 one enters adulthood. And the age 28—well i'm not entirely sure what to call it, but I certainly feel some sort of shift. Turning 28 coincided with a year of a lot of personal change and growth (and a lot of really hard work that actually sucked a whole, whole lot). Part of me thought 2012 meant the world was going to end. Part of me just felt like my world was ending. But as I watched the year start to unfold, I was realizing 2012 is my favorite year yet. While it is the end of one Mayan calendar, it is also the beginning of a new one, and all our new selves are also reborn. It feels really good. All this to say, I'm not sure how or why my year has happened the way it has, but I think I love it. Perhaps it's fitting that I should start my life in a new home as I start my next lifecycle.
Some other fun things that happened recently, captured of course in instagrams above: 1) my hilarious, talented and very Canadian actor amigo Joris came to stay with me as well as took me to some of his fancy friends' band's shows: Stars and Metric 2) I got to marvel at my freakishly gifted friend Sougwen's first large installation-illustration endeavor at the Ghostly opening at the ADC Gallery. I still can't believe this girl. I'm such an uber fan. 3) I went on lots of runs at weird times and signed up for the Richmond marathon in a month because I'm an idiot and a masochist (and completely under-trainted) 4) Got some more totally unnecessary tattoos for no good reasonat all 5) Started sketching for a dream job for one of my favorite brands Scotch and Soda 6) And of course, the big one is just the wild ride of learning all the things there are to learn about being a homeowner. In all my years since leaving my parents house I've never had the following in my various rentals all over the Village: more than 2 matching forks, a microwave, an oven who's primary purpose was not for storage, an outlet in the bathroom, a TV, more than one closet, a proper "entryway," an elevator, a refrigerator manufactured in this decade, a place to eat that is not my floor, bed, or drafting table, room for a couch/a couch, and perhaps most importantly, a pet policy despite clearly smuggling in a very loud, screamy, grumpy, contraband feline (this one is huge with my looming puppy-envy...) I'm very much looking forward to slowly upgrading to all of these things. Except maybe the TV. Fuck TVs.