I'm sitting out on my patio. (Patio? Terrace? I used to call it a balcony, but my dad the construction man explained all the different terminology and concluded that calling it a balcony is incorrect. I don't remember which is correct, though. It might be terrace.)

It's warm -- shorts weather -- and breezy. It feels like summer.

It's May of 2018, but if I close my eyes, it's August of 2016. Late morning, around 11. I have a bowl of oatmeal with berries on the little table in front of me, and I left my phone inside. On purpose. These late morning hours are the only time I have to myself for a few weeks and you can be damn sure I'm going to enjoy some peace and quiet. When I'm done with breakfast I might go inside and watch some Olympics coverage before I go to work, but when your job is to cover the Olympics, you find that watching the Olympics before going to work isn't always what you want to be doing.

There are a few mornings spent watching fencing and rugby, for sure, but most of them are spent outside on the patio/terrace/balcony, slowly eating breakfast and marinating on things in silence. Sometimes I ponder the state of the Mets (pretty trash). I'm heading to my first Paralympic Games in Rio in a few weeks and as it gets closer, it's finally starting to feel real and exciting and wow, that's sure going to change my life, huh? Occasionally I long for the days I used to spend summers outside having fun, and not stuck behind a computer in a large, freezing concrete room.

And then, of course, I go inside, throw on some Team USA (or otherwise sponsor-friendly) clothes and leave for work around 12:30. My shift starts at 1, just in time for shit to hit the fan at approximately 1:05. I work until 11 (which means at least 11:30, natch), go to bed around 2 am, and wake up and do the same thing again the next day.

But those lovely mornings were mine.

It's hard to believe they were almost two years ago.

Now it's 2018. I worked those Olympics, and then another one. I went to those Paralympics, and then another one. The Mets are still trash (or trash again). I don't work for the USOC anymore -- and I'm not even all that sad about it, which is the strangest part -- and today is my last in this apartment.

It's not as dramatic as it sounds. My contract at the USOC ended -- after four years of temping, it was finally time -- and I'm moving to a newly-renovated apartment in the same complex. In fact, in the building I'm staring at right now. It's about as low-impact a move as could possibly exist.

And yet, I'm nostalgic. Wistful, if you will. This is the first apartment I ever lived in 100% by myself. It's seen some good times and great people. It's also seen me cry in bed and mope on the couch all day because I couldn't muster up the energy to care to do anything else. It was sometimes my office, and sometimes my sanctuary. But whatever went on in here, it was where I called home during an incredibly significant chapter of my life. That chapter is over now, and tomorrow I get the keys to a new place and get to start a new one.

I should probably go pack first.

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