As reliably as you throw away your old calendar every Jan. 1 and get a new one, I move into a new apartment. The cycle has been hard to break, and each move has been surrounded by its own set of supporting arguments and issues to work out.
Next week's move will be a first though, and it will mark a page in life's diary that's yet to be inscribed.
I'll be moving in with my fiancé, Naylene, and, a few months after that, we'll be married, and the rest will be history.
Giving up the crazy roommate/several crazy roommates/solo bachelor pad lifestyle is going to be hard, I think. The first step to recovery is admitting there's a problem, so I'm at that one now and moving on.
It's not that I don't want to live with Naylene, I wouldn't have asked her to marry me if that was the case (it's usually part of the deal), but I'd be lying if I didn't say I have a nervous twitch every now and then.
Who wouldn't? Who shouldn't? Let's not kid ourselves. Let's be real.
Having the same person up in your business for the rest of your life can feel a little claustrophobic - sugar-coating removed.
Through my college years, I lived with a rotating collection of friends in apartments of various sizes and slumminess. It was the standard fare of partying and chaos, laziness and mess, conflict and resolution. It was safe and reliable.
After college, that mode carried over until I ventured out on my own, and now I've lived solo for a few years running. It's been good. Refreshing. Free. Unrestricted.
It feels a little like summer vacation when I was in elementary school.
Just as was true during that magical time, it must come to an end. This too shall pass. Next week.
Padding the fall a bit is the fact that the apartment we're moving into is very nice. I've been in a very cheap place in Virginia-Highland, dealing with the roaches and dripping faucets one endures to live down the street from half-million-dollar houses on a newspaper salary. The best of both worlds!
The new apartment, the married apartment, is spanking-new. Untouched. Fresh paint smell, carpet glue smell, refrigerator and oven smell-free.
It's a new beginning, in every sense of the concept.
Some of my freedoms will be restricted, and my alone time will be limited. But, at the same time, some of my bad habits will be forced out. I'll have to straighten up and fly right. That's not a bad thing.
Like I said, I knew what I was getting into, so I'm not complaining. It's an adjustment I'm gearing up for. After a year or so, the memories of solo living will be just that: memories. It'll be fine.
I'll trade the roaches for Naylene. Good deal.
Rob Felt is the photographer for the Daily Herald. He can be reached at (770) 957-9161 or firstname.lastname@example.org .