I sat down here today to write an intensely personal post about what it felt like to abandon my apartment after almost four years, which is, by nature, I think, an intensely personal thing to write about. When I moved into this apartment it represented a milestone for me because it was the first place I ever occupied by myself. But it was also the first place where I could confidently call myself a writer. Without running to the toilet and puking.

All of this—and yes, puking, too—is what I wanted to tell you about today. Until I read this article, an intensely personal (and beautifully written) piece about the intensely personal (and often dangerous) world of blogging. Because although I moved out of this apartment this week as a finally-budding writer who had proved herself to be extremely proficient at living on her own for the first time, I suddenly realized I will probably remember my time most here as the period during which I became a blogger.

And it’s funny, the memories I have of this apartment. The most vivid one is what you might call a recurring memory since it happened every single day: Sitting at my desk gnawing chunks out of my hangnails trying to figure out what I could possibly write about to fill my three-plus-posts-a-day quota.

Almost every square-foot of that tiny space has a blogging memory tagged to it; I can read it like a Google Map. I can see myself standing at the kitchen sink the day I plotted a retort to an insanely mean email while steel-wooling a baking sheet to a mirror-like shine. Staring at the bumps in the wall of my bedroom in the middle of the night, fretting over a horrifying assumption I’d typed with glee earlier that day. Freaking out as I soaped up my hair in the shower, convinced that last post I moved to ‘publish’ went too far. (It did.)

During those six short steps from my bed to the computer every morning I would consider the day’s two, and only two, possible scenarios: That oxygen-to-the-brain rush when the right people noticed how freaking awesome I wrote, or the chest-crushing low of getting a post dead stupid wrong. That daily twinge, that familiar nausea, will forever haunt the corners of those four rooms for me.

Now I can appreciate the irony. It was a place where, for once, I lived completely by myself. But at the same time, I willingly tossed myself out into the open, every single day, for everyone to see.

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  • http://www.portigal.com/blog Steve Portigal

    Your link to “this article” is broken. Missing a : or a // or something?

  • Alissa

    Fixed, sorry about that!

  • http://communicatrix.com communicatrix

    I loved that article, too! I’m almost embarrassed to say it’s the first time I’ve been moved to leave a comment on the NYT online. Yeesh. All the crap in the world, and I’m so self-involved, I don’t comment until it’s about self-blogging. Talk about yer hangnail-chewers.

    Still, I get it. My little place here is my freedom map, too. Probably why I get a little pang in my heart seeing that shot of your empty place. I know the time comes to move on and accept that you’ve integrated the lesson but oh, it’s a toughie.

    Have a wonderful, wonderful adventure, walkin’ gal. Send great missives and pix from NYC.

  • http://www.zingzone.com Sam

    Somebody, maybe Frank Gehry, said whatever field you’re in, there’s a sliver of space where you can make a difference. And no matter what space you are in — cyber, LA small space, NYC sidewalk space — you make a difference, my friend.

    Take one more glance around, close the door and start walking East as fast as you can until you see buildings worth writing about.

  • http://www.minus-five.com minus five

    that was a great article. i learned those same lessons the hard way as well.

  • L K

    Just sitting here realizing what you are going through. Finishing packing after seven years in my apt. Every emotion that I didn’t think I would have, I’ve had. The one thing I am looking forward too is closing the door to this place…and opening many more new ones!

    I’ll be welcoming you back with a very deserving Congratulations party in a new place that is just waiting for new memories to be made.