115 Westover Avenue. Williamsburg, Virginia.
I previously wrote about how our lives are affected by our living situations. And I really got to thinking about it because I’ve been a bit of a transient lately. I guess that’s a characteristic of post-grads; we’re trying to find our “place” (professionally, physically, mentally, socially), and with this comes moving around. I think the places we live have an impact on our lives. Maybe to some people, where they live is trivial, but not for me, because when we aren’t working or being social, where we live is where we spend a majority of our time. So many “factors of place” exist: Do we live in a city, and have closer access to nightlife? Or do we live in the suburbs and take things more slowly. Do we live in an apartment building, making friends with our neighbors down the hall, or a house on an acre lot and occasionally wave to our neighbors while driving in the neighborhood, but never actually stop to converse? Is there a roommate, or a significant other living there? Are there pets?
And where do we live? In a quaint college town, or on the cement streets of a major city? Maybe we live halfway across the world? Or maybe with the parents because we’re trying to find a job or save money.
These decisions of place impact our lives, our mentality, and they say a lot about each of us. So I wanted to devote the next few blog posts to the “places” I’ve lived, have grown and have experienced. I’m pretty sure there will be many more in my life, but I wanted to write “love letters” to all the places I have lived and have impacted my development. So here it goes…first, to the cute little two bedroom house on Westover in Williamsburg, VA that I lived in in the fall of 2009.
Dear cute little Westover bungalow,
I transferred to W&M second-semester Sophomore year, and had lived in the dorms right before you. Even though circumstances occurred that only let me live within your walls for a few short months, I still think about how you were perfectly situated for me to begin my Junior year of college at William & Mary and establish myself in a great social scene. Shortly after I moved into you, I found myself newly single, and…wait for it…ready to mingle. You were a cute little house, that was never inherited by a frat, and maintained your dignity, even though you existed in a block of houses with sticky beer floors and couches from the 80s. Just a few blocks from the Delis and a shorter walk to the Units, I came back to you, many nights, inebriated, but happy. I had found my place at this wonderful school in a quaint little town.
When I was newly single, I broke you in with a party that was too big for your 900 square feet, and made friends with guys in the fraternity I ended up hanging out with for the next two years because I no longer had that “other” priority. You hosted many a classy DG pregame, and your halls were frequented by a bunch of sorats dressed up like trophy wives, or “prey” for a predators and prey themed mixer…and it was always a good time.
I experienced so many emotions under your roof. Your floors strewn with notes and drafts of reports, late nights of frustration and stresses of a college Junior. Many naps were had. Crying sessions too. And you, and Wendy’s chicken sandwiches, got me through many hungover mornings where I regretted being alive. I lost my first love when I resided there, and came back from bars, with only you to take care of me as I cried because I didn’t want to be alone. I found my next love, and experienced so many of the exciting things that come within the first few months of a relationship. I kissed in the rain on your back porch, and you witnessed many conversations about life between love #2 that carried on until the sun rose. I learned how to cook and was wooed by many a romantic dinner, or a surprise visit…
And do you remember the dog and the foster kittens? Housemate’s elderly dog lived there too, but soon moved back home because she wasn’t “happy”. And then the kittens, while cute, were horribly smelly, runny-eyed kittens that lived in a 3×5 ft. cage with their mother that housemate didn’t run by me because she wanted to “surprise me” with them. Housemate’s “great idea”…I still don’t know. I’m a huge cat lover, but when housemate got sick and had to go home for a month, they became my responsibility, even though I didn’t sign the paperwork. And because I didn’t sign up for kitten duty, they were quickly returned to the humane society with or without housemate’s approval.
Why did we have to part? Well housemate had some medical issues and her mother, rather harshly, insisted I find other living arrangements so she could live with her daughter. I wasn’t on the lease, and I didn’t want to deal with housemate’s abrasive guardian, so, after a huge breakdown, that love #2 got me through, and the parents came and rescued me from. I moved on to a nice little apartment that the parents moved me into since I was in the middle of midterms.
The next place, though filled with love and made into a home for the next two years, was not you. I thought about you a lot, wishing that, one day, I could live within your four walls again. You were a huge influence to my time at W&M.