So the packing is near completion and I’m living in a labyrinth of boxes stacked haphazardly through my otherwise bare apartment.

I’m going to miss my home so much. It was my first real grown-up, single, independent, making-all-the-decisions-for-myself home. I took the greatest joy in sharing it with some of the most wonderful people I know. Here are some of my most cherished Mary St Home stories, in no particular order:

THE FIRST TIME FRIENDS STAYED OVER
The first month I moved in, my favourite big-time drinker-pals and I met up at an Architects Christmas party close by. We got very drunk and accidentally helped ourselves to our Architect Friends vintage Moet Chandon (some ridiculous year, that was apparently very expensive). After being found out and sheepishly deciding it was time to leave the party (we felt very bad), the three of us went back to my house where we popped open another bottle of champagne (not vintage) and attempted to drink it, but instead passed out on the floor. When we woke up (very sick and sorry for ourselves) we decided to treat are wounds and bruises to a morning of Bloody Mary’s at The Queens.

THE BELATED NEW YEARS EVE
My girlfriend and I both missed out on New Years Eve. Her partner hurt his back so badly the day before he was bed-bound throughout the celebrations. And I had to work. So a week after New years Eve we had our own celebrations on my balcony. It was a beautiful night with lots of champagne (thanks again Aidan for not getting angry about the Yarra Burn…). It’s by far one of my most favourite New Years Eve’s. We planned our dream lives, made promises about the future and laughed and cried about the year just gone. It was the perfect way to start a new year.

SATURDAY MORNING BREAKFAST TRADITION
Last year I went out with a beautiful man who was about as busy as I am. So we had to make the most of any time spare we could. We began a tradition, that continues even to this day. Every Saturday morning we would breakfast on Beaufort St with our best friend Mandy. We alternated cafes based on our belly-desires (if you wanted pancakes, then go to Diva’s – something savoury, go to Globe – hash browns, go to the Queens – and so on). Sadly Scott is in Japan now, but Mandy and I never miss a Saturday breakfast… I know it doesn’t sound like a story tied to my house, but it’s a big part of how I spent my time living there.

CANDLES ON THE BALCONY
I loved sitting outside by myself, with all the candles blazing, reading my book and smoking a cigarette. Bliss.

MARCUS, ALANA & ALLI AND THE SIT-IN!!
One night I was at Wowsville and I was a little too drunk to stay out. I was also a little too drunk to drive, but being drunk I was unable to see this for myself and decided to go home. I had to steal my keys out of Alana’s handbag – I told them I was going to the bathroom, and instead slipped out of the club and went home (arriving safely. I promise – I haven’t driven inebriated since). From home I rang them (at this stage they were all looking everywhere for me) told them I’d gone home and figured I could go to the bed. I jumped in the shower, and when I got out I got the scare of my life – there were Alli, Alana and Marcus all banging on my back window trying to get in. They decided I needed to learn a lesson – I wasn’t allowed to go to sleep until they decided I’d been punished enough for driving home. We ended up sitting there for ages, drinking more vodka out of my 21st martini glasses, Marcus setting off fire works and stealing cake out of my fridge -before finally I was allowed to pass out. I love this story because it always reminds me I have friends who care when I do stupid things like drive home drunk. They were wonderful to worry about me, and I forgave them for the horrendous mess my house was in the following morning!

THE DAY I MOVED IN
I moved in under pretty sad circumstances. My relationship of more than four years had ended and I felt lost in the world. I chose Mary St Apartment as my new home because it was available immediately, it was walking distance to the city, and my favourite coffee strip was around the corner. I owned only half a house worth of furniture (we had split everything down the middle), and didn’t even have a bed (it was his). I thought my heart was going to continue to break every day of my life. I missed my “real” home, and thought this new impostor was never going to fit me properly. I wanted my best friend back. I wanted my life back.

The day I got the keys and moved in was the saddest day of my life. I sat eating fish and chips on the floor by myself, sobbing into my potato scallop, surrounded by boxes. I remember that day so clearly – because it’s a world away from where I am today. I may be surrounded by boxes again, but I’ve never felt so happy and satisfied with the time I’ve had there. A year and a half ago I couldn’t have imagined that I would heal so well – I think happiness fits me!

My final day in Mary St is on Wednesday – there may be a few tears, but they’ll be for all the good memories, and they year and a half I had in a home I loved.

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