Even though I may be closer in age to 35 than 30 years old, I don’t feel like a grizzly old man yet. In fact, most of the folks that I know who are in their late 50s, 60s, and 70s, still suggest that to me that people my age (I’m 33, by the way) are still “babies” or just “young kids” getting started in life. And I tend to agree with their assessment, but not because it helps me feel young! No, I tend to agree with their assessment because when I look at the maturity levels and “grown-up” like abilities that some of my contemporaries possess, there’s no way you would ever want to consider these people adults!
I bring up this discrepancy in age versus real-life experiences because of my recent purchase of a new home. I have yet to write about the purchase, though I’m working on a blog entry that describes much of my reasoning for buying a home. More on that to come. In the meantime, though, I didn’t want to miss out on sharing some of the great experiences that I’ve had getting used to my new place. Take this post, for example. I’ve noticed that since I now own and live in a three bedroom, two-and-a-half bath townhouse (complete with a living room, dining area, kitchen, another eat-in dining area, and garage), that I’ve been living a very dormitory lifestyle up until this move. In other words, my prior apartments – and pretty much my living arrangements since I moved from home to go to college back in Fall 1999 – have been either directly in dormitories or closely resembling dormitories.
And that got me to thinking whether or not that was actually a true statement/thought and – for better or worse – it really is true. Just thinking about the last place I lived before I bought this place, I lived much of my life in my bedroom. This was easy to accomplish because my bedroom had a large walk-in closet where I could put all of my stuff and a master bathroom where I could use the facilities if necessary. I never spent any time in the living room because it was filthy (the rug was a disaster and the landlord refused to change it, plus the furniture wasn’t mine or my roommates’ so we didn’t have any connection to anything in there) and I never spent any time in the kitchen because it was an extremely dated room with a dated feel to it. The interior of the place I just moved out of was pale and drab – my roommates and I didn’t really paint the place because we didn’t own the house. The carpets were old and cruddy throughout the house, but I was able to salvage some semblance of normalcy by restricting my “living space” to my bedroom alone. I had a small office area set up in one part of the room, all of my clothes crammed into the closet, and a small entertainment center area next to the office area.
I didn’t realize until I moved into my new home and started to make the new place my own that I had been restricting myself to living in a dorm-like lifestyle by staying in the old townhouse as long as I stayed there. Just to help provide some substance to the time I spent as a renter in the old townhouse – I moved in there in July 2008 and I moved out in May 2014. That’s nearly 6 years living as a de facto prisoner in my own bedroom!
Now that I’m in my new place, I’ve painted every room in the house except a half-bathroom on the first floor. I’ve started to fill my garage with my belongings with plans to retrieve more of my belongings from my Mother’s house and bring them down here so I have them in my possession. I’ve started growing vegetables and herbs in the area outside of the sliding glass doors in my eat-in kitchen. I’ve purchased brand new furniture and furnished my living room with a brand new coffee table, two new matching end tables, two new lamps, a brand new sofa, and a brand new loveseat. I’ve outfitted my dining room with a brand new dining room table with six chairs (and plans to buy two more dining room chairs). I purchased a brand new bedroom set complete with two end tables and a dresser for my bedroom. In my master bathroom, I’ve laid down new carpet runners along the jacuzzi and outside of the double sink and I also installed a brand new shaving station mirror as well as a deep medicine cabinet. I also installed my television above the gas fireplace in my living room, which sits in front of the new area rug that I bought from IKEA along with a very large piece of art for the wall from the same store.
The point here is that I’m living in the entire house versus living in one room of a house. At the end of the accounting, it is more expensive to buy and live in a house by yourself versus living with roommates in a shared house or townhouse. However, the ability to customize the space you live in to turn a house into a home is priceless.