Prior to moving to Amsterdam I had never before lived alone, having always had some form of roommate. But never a front door to call my own, until I moved to Westerpark. That time in my life was, I'm sure, greatly transformative in terms of growing up and standing on my own two feet, in terms of: making sure that I wake up everyday to be where I need to, making sure my surroundings were sanitary and pleasant, and more or less making sure I paid all my invoices (all written in Dutch to me at a time when my Dutch couldn't have been less existent) that allowed my passage into the realm of 'adulthood' in the city of Amsterdam – and the world in general. Now of course 'being an adult' consists of more then paying taxes and having a shelter to care for; a multiplicity of demographics, emotions, and self-presentation all swirl into the mix equally. But, I'm happy to have lived alone in a city I knew very little about, but felt so passionate towards. Living alone, for that year, allowed me to discover and understand what it is that I need to do, to take care of myself, physically and mentally, as well as emotionally. It only fostered a further understanding of who I am, and what it means to be me.
All of this has further fostered my growth and progress as a person. My current state of shelter, defined as not living alone; indeed living with another, under one roof. The footprint that this aforementioned roof covers roughly 67m2. Just as I had not dwelled alone before moving to Amsterdam, nor had I lived with a significant other, either. But just as living alone taught many valuable lessons for deployment in life, so too has living as a duo. Never before have I been able to wake up next to the one person I care most about in life, ever morning, every day. Nice as it is, it comes with many other unexpected positives, like the fact that, no matter what, your knight-in-shining-armor will never be too far away – always there to lend a helping hand, and vice versa. Every morning I wake up to a flood of sunlight, as the sun pokes over the tiny rooftops further east and continues its climb, and the person who lends light to my life, is almost always there to enjoy it with me.