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Google: A Millennial’s Magic 8 Ball

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20.03.2019

It started with an oddly specific, poorly-worded, emotionally vulnerable Google search: “What to do when you’re leaving your twenty-something apartment?”

I was moving out of the apartment I lived in for five years, since I was 24. My boyfriend and I, who were already happily living together in said apartment, were moving into a house in Oakland. We wanted to settle down and start a new chapter of our lives. We wanted to build something together. I was not having doubts about this, but rather feeling anxious about what Millennials often refer to as “adulting,” meaning having responsibilities that mirror adulthood for Baby Boomers.

I loved the apartment, even though it did not have a dishwasher and I had to walk four blocks to do my laundry. While I complained endlessly about the lack of these appliances, and how their absence wasted precious hours of my life, I rarely blamed the actual apartment. Instead, I felt regal sleeping in the presence of Edwardian-era crown molding. I appreciated the built-in shelves, and that in 500-square feet I managed to create a miniature library.

I first arrived at my San Francisco apartment feeling defeated, ironically, by trying to be an adult. I experienced my first job lay-off. I tried living with a boyfriend, a situation that ultimately did not work out. I did not get the full-time writing jobs I applied for in New York City, which pushed me into tech and staying in San Francisco. Somehow though, in the process of heading in (what felt like) the wrong direction at the time, I was led to where I am now: doing what I love and sharing a life with someone I love.

The path was never clear or easy, and still isn’t, but throughout the struggle and darkness, my apartment was always a fixture that represented stability. Even though I had left it a couple times, once for an indefinite backpacking trip and another time for Los Angeles, it welcomed me back like nothing had changed. I cherished that the apartment was the backdrop of much of my twenties, and leaving it for a domestic-oriented life felt like passing a point of no return.

Anxious, I asked the Google gods for advice. I expected I’d find something from a lifestyle blogger, or a life........

© Salon