Almost two weeks ago, I moved from Chapel Hill to Durham to live with my boyfriend in a two-bedroom apartment. And honestly, it has been great.
The first thing people think of when moving in with a significant other is usually negative; that it won’t work or that being with each other so often will only cause conflict. But for Blake and I, it’s just an extended sleepover.
We have both loved spending the extra time with each other, from cooking dinner together to even cleaning and the tons of unpacking we have still not finished (oops). But what’s best about the whole thing, is that I get to see him when I otherwise would not.
Blake recently graduated from the Durham Police Academy (congrats again!!!) and is now subject to the shift work that we both knew was inevitable given his career choice. His first week of work had him on night duty, working from 6pm to 6am Monday through Thursday, and made it nearly impossible to see him with our two opposing schedules. What would have made it even harder, though, would have been us trying to hangout while still living apart. This way, when I get up in the morning to get ready for work or class, I can at least see him as he gets into bed to sleep for the next shift. And, if we’re lucky, I also get to see him as soon as I get home before he leaves again for the night. This week we have had day shifts and night shifts, so it has warranted a bit more interaction; but I am so glad that I have even the little time together that we do.
In addition to our meals cooked together and nights spent binge-watching Queer Eye, we have also engaged in some more adult-esque activities since moving in. First and foremost, we had to buy a new mattress. And this one wasn’t easy. I knew how much a new mattress would cost and had to really weigh the pros and cons before placing my order. But luckily, we invested in a more cost-efficient mattress from Amazon that arrives folded up in a box. I have heard nothing but good reviews from other users of these self-inflating mattresses, but I can’t wait to find out for myself when it delivers in a week. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, Blake and I have been budgeting together and have both short-term and long-term savings goals to look ahead to. My personal finances are something of great value to me and to have Blake on board with my obsession for planning them is so amazing.
Another huge aspect of moving into my first big-girl apartment was the opportunity to design the interior how I wanted (for the most part). If you know me, you know I am a Maxxinista and I have recently been like a kid in a candy store shopping for home goods in TJ Maxx. As of right now, most of what we’ve bought has been necessities, but I am slowly starting to find decorative pieces that will soon fill every inch of the apartment. The dining room, in particular, is a space that was almost completely empty until just recently. I insisted on creating the table for the dining room from scratch (pictured below) so that our first apartment would have more authentic pieces, and because I love making things, myself, rather than buying them. But I could not have done it without the help of my father, whose power tools and garage are always at my disposal, and my mother, who sanded and varnished the table while I was in Durham so that I could have it finished by the end of the first week.
In the picture, you can also see my other proud creation, my shoe rack, that will now be used as a bookcase (books not pictured). But anywho, Blake has been incredibly understanding of my slight infatuation with designing our home and is sweet enough to approve of every piece I bring through the front door, or at least nice enough to not argue me on it.
Though there is still much more work to make it into the dream home I have pictured the apartment to be, I love the gated community that we chose to live in. Since the American Tobacco Trail runs right through the neighborhood before crossing I-40 towards the mall, we are literally within convenient walking distance to anything we could ever need. The area is overflowing with restaurants, grocery stores, and shopping centers that have made this move even better. And now that the weather is improving, I will be making walking trips much more often; but don’t tell Mema, because she would still rather me live at home with her.