by Lynn Kim Do

Apartment Searching

I may not have an identity crisis but I sure have location crisis. My anxiety with moving stems a bit deeper than normal affections. On December 31st, I will have to uproot from my quaint little apartment I made my own in Spanish Harlem and find a new place to call home. Although I'm not moving too far and possibly only a borough away, moving gives me anxiety. And for unique reasons...

 Tina Jumpsuit - Lime & Vine // Front Long Cardigan - Boohoo // Bold Necklace - Bebe // Wedge Leather Booties - Vintage // Mercer Watch - Great George Watches

The first question people generally ask upon meeting someone for the first time is "What's your name?" And the second most common question is "Where are you from?" I never quite know how to answer that question. It generally heads to a lengthy explanation that starts with California and ends with New York City. 

Ever since I walked out of my mother's womb, I have never lived at a single address for more than two years. I've lived in California, Nebraska (what?), Pennsylvania, Georgia, Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland, New Jersey, and now New York. This doesn't even touch the number of times I've relocated within these states. In New Jersey alone, I've lived in over 12 different cities. I've been to more middle schools than there are middle school grades. And I'd love to sit here and tell you why we moved so often but that is a story for, perhaps, another time and requires a heightened amount courage that I just do not possess at this moment. Just know that like every family, we have our own demons. 

We always felt the need to run. To escape. And escape, we did. Ironically enough, it also taught us that there was always a way. And I really mean it when I use the word "ironic" because during these extremely difficult moves, it left a deeply rooted impression on me. To every problem, there was a solution. Whenever we were backed up against a wall, we knew how to wiggle our way out of there. To abandon everything for the greater good. To start over. And that is what the Do-Bui family are best at -- starting over. Whether I knew it at the time or not, as my mother struggled to find a connection with her own mother, as my parents' first business flopped, as I hid a neighbor who had ran away from home while cops knocked at our door, the tiny moments in my childhood were specific paint strokes that lead to a bigger picture - Me. So yeah, I know a couple things about change. On starting from zero, only to build something up, and then have it torn back down.  I know a lot more on adapting. On making new friends. On losing them them the same year. And then making new ones the following year. I know an irrevocable amount of knowledge on hope. On having the mentality that will inherit change, to expect the best, and to obtain it. To win and lose, yet maintain hopes of rising once more.

Here I am, this time without my parents or my brothers and many years late, about to make another address change. Another pain stroke. And subconsciously (now consciously), I am getting an uncomfortable feeling surging throughout my body. 60% of it is excitement. I am excited for the new journey I'm about to embark in the year 2016. At a new apartment. With a new roommate. I can sense how amazing this upcoming year will be to me. It will rub my back and slap my knee. 30% of it is fear. Because with change comes more change. Because I could never really grow a tolerance to change. Because the unknown immediate future is just as scary as when I was five and under my bed felt unknown. 10% of it is emptiness. A strange description but it is the best way to describe it. Really, it is a space of intuition. A soft pit in the center of my stomach that is ready for what will arise. To cushion the impact whether it is good or bad. 

I get a call back on whether I get this apartment I applied for tomorrow. I think I might throw up from nervousness. If you see me, either 1) give me a hug or 2) buy me a drink!

Photos by Mai Nguyen of Little Mai Sunshine