Late last week I received a disturbing phone call from my roommate informing me that our apartment is in foreclosure and our landlord requires we move out as soon as possible. My initial reaction was shock. I just moved in at the beginning of January and had no intention of moving until summer at the very earliest. Slowly my shock morphed into panic, though I dislike discussing money (it’s really not the focus of this blog) I’m pretty broke. As a nanny living in a fairly expensive city with student loans and medical debt I don’t have a lot of money on hand to up and move apartments with little notice. A wise, financially responsible adult would have had money in savings for emergencies such as the one I encountered but given my current life situation that was not my financial budget. A forty second phone call left me both homeless and hopeless. I did my best to keep from freaking out mid work day (I’m so proud of myself for not crying) but my mind was racing. All I could think about was the following month…where would I live? How could I possibly afford it? When could I possibly find the free time to pack up and move?
I’ve spent the past few months working tirelessly (or so it feels like) to build a more stable and independent life for myself that it is so disheartening to feel like the little progress I have made is being ripped away from me. Still I knew I could only spend so much time wallowing in self pity. Whether I liked it or not the clock was ticking as I felt sorry for myself and the time I had left in the home I had established for myself was running out. My only choice was to look forward so I hopped on Craigslist and searched for apartments the entire weekend. Friday thru Sunday I looked at 12 apartments and honestly it was exhausting. I had so many criteria I wanted met (parking, space, location, price, aesthetics, washer & dryer, natural light) but I knew in order to satisfy one need (ex. parking) I would need to give up another (ex. location). The entire hunt was disheartening to say the least! When I found an apartment I could imagine living in there was always a catch or reason it wouldn’t work. The process made me feel small and weak and helpless.
Sunday morning I toured three separate apartments. They were all lovely and I could see a happy future in each of them but by Sunday afternoon I was sobbing into my white duvet. I was so upset over the whole process, my lack of credit, lack of money, the suddenness of it all! I was sick of moving (I’ve moved 5 times in the past year), sick of feeling homeless, sick of feeling like a nomadic wanderer. I needed a few minutes to just feel sorry for myself and the difficult situation even though my life is so lovely and happy overall. I cried big fat mascara tears to Jordan as he attempted to comfort me by discussing new decorating options and promised to help me pack up boxes and move. I was so wrapped up in my temper tantrum I threw my white (newly stained with mascara tears) ruffled bedspread on the floor and buried my head into my pillows.
“I’m not an adult!” I cried. “I can’t handle adult problems, I still have a bedspread from the children’s section at Target”. I know I can get a new bedspread if I really want to but what sort of person buys a new adult bed spread before they’ve even found a new adult place to live? It’s asinine. The whole situation feels asinine and hopeless and big! The whole world seemed bad and mean and unjust and cruel (and these were just my feelings over impending homelessness) think if I were to face an actual big girl tragedy.
So here I am in the process of hunting for an apartment with nothing but student loans looming like a dark rain cloud over my head, a nanny salary and a whole lot of shoes to make room for. In the words of Marnie from Girls “I may not seem okay, and I might not be okay now. But I am, like, okay”. Being a grown up is hard sometimes but at least apartment hunting is sort of fun?
What do you look for in an apartment? Have you ever had to move suddenly? Were you as stressed as me?