Surprise! I moved in on December 1st on a wing and a hangover. Everything is a mess. My stuff is everywhere, my roommates’ stuff is everywhere, my ex’s stuff is everywhere and idk really where my money is? Like I for sure spent it, but who knows on what, exactly.
Everything is chaos.
BUT! Also! Everything is pretty great. I have been more connected to my friends, more creative, and more confident about what I’m doing with my life. In the last three weeks, I’ve finished eight Christmas commissions comprised of eighteen different works of art — keep an eye out for those as soon as the gifts are given — and I have a whole slew of new pics and edits to share from my travels this summer and from just living my life in DC and Baltimore.
I’ve been keeping track of a lot of things I want to talk about, and now that my commissions are all with their respective printers, I can actually start writing some of it down and the very first thing I wrote down — a thing I keep coming back to — is the mix of emotions I feel about Baltimore being my home. Let’s unpack that.
If I have to pick between Maryland and Virginia — and I do, we all do, it’s the law, I think — I will ALWAYS pick Maryland. I lived in Montgomery County from the time I was 6 until I left for college, I got my Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Maryland, I returned to MoCo to live in Silver Spring after graduation, and I got my Master’s Degree from Goucher College. It’s a formative part of who I am as a person.
But living in DC for the past several years has felt really, really right to me. I have felt most myself. DC is a space where everyone is passionate about social issues — and most people are passionate in the same direction that I am, it’s okay to love your job and your volunteer work and talk about that stuff a lot, there are ten thousand kinds of places to see art from the Smithsonian to a museum that’s legit just murals painted in a public alley, the hockey team is quite good, it’s not weird that I’m not straight, and most of my favorite people in the world live there.
So the knowledge that I have to go back to a Maryland driver’s license and that it’s not totally honest to say I’m from DC anymore and the fact that I don’t wake up in our Nation’s Capital everyday feels really weird to me. It feels a bit like a part of my identity is missing.
On the other hand, though, the stuff I love about DC is stuff I know I will love about Baltimore. The art scene here is a incredible! A lot of people I love also live here! Folks are mostly aligned with my progressive politics, but I can actually vote a Republican the fuck out of office in this state!
And the really important thing is that I see all of the most important people in my life actually more now that I live in Baltimore than I did living a block away from some of them with my ex-girlfriend.
It’s another important reminder that the people that really care about you are gonna figure it out. They’re gonna give you keys to their apartments and let you sleep on their couch and tell you you can come over because you finished working several hours before you planned to meet them somewhere, they’re gonna let you have your birth control mailed to their apartment so you don’t have to pay an extra $50 for it, and they’re gonna come to your house sometimes even though it’s less convenient for nearly everyone because someone has to help you christen the back patio with a bonfire made of clothes and a weed S’more.