published Sunday, April 6th, 2014

Harpe: Springing forward into a new home

By Corin Harpe

After being trapped in our homes all winter, the arrival of spring is such an interesting season because it motivates us to make changes in our lives. Spring cleaning enables us to get rid of all the piled-up winter clutter that we have been too tired and too cold to move in the past few months.

This time of year also causes us to leave our best friend, the couch, where we spent many hours watching Netflix and eating popcorn, and instead calls us to the suddenly fascinating great outdoors.

Since our winter was especially harsh this year, never before I have found myself so involved in the above-mentioned pastimes. For example, all of a sudden I am a fitness buff. A month ago I would have considered walking up a flight of stairs strenuous, but now all I want to do is ride bikes and rock climb.

I’m a self-proclaimed pack rat, so the spring cleaning notion has had an unusual effect on me. Instead of just cleaning a room or throwing something away, I have decided to make a major life decision and completely change my current living situation. Perhaps the warmer weather has an influence, but more so, it is just time for me to move out of my parents’ home.

In my mind I have always viewed self-sufficiency as one of the highest and most desirable traits. Therefore, after college I made sure to have a career-oriented job that enables me to fulfill this responsibility and to work towards full independence. But even with a good job, finding full autonomy has been difficult. While balancing going back to school and working, I still needed the help of my parents, specifically in having a rent-free place to live.

I know that many twentysomethings manage work and school without any extra help, and I applaud them and look up to them for their high level of responsibility, but I also realize that it has been difficult for our age demographic to be completely independent. So I consider it a huge life accomplishment that this spring I can now step into what I consider full adulthood.

Along with this achievement, there are many other experiences that I am happily anticipating. Many relate to the refreshing quality of change. I will finally be able to work with a clean slate and arrange my new apartment exactly how I want it. I can establish some new habits that will lead to a more organized life, and I will be living in a new part of Chattanooga, which will bring new discoveries. I can have my own schedule, where I can put myself first without worrying about working around others, and I won’t have to share things like bathrooms, the TV or kitchen appliances.

Even though I can put these annoyances behind me, there are other things that I will miss leaving behind. I will miss sharing my day with my parents and combating loneliness by knowing that others will be home to greet me.

I also am leaving behind two 14-year-old dogs I have grown up with.

Despite the pros and cons, this is a major milestone, a new chapter, and I can hardly wait.

Contact Corin Harpe at corinharpe@gmail.com.

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