Hello internet friends.
So here’s the thing. Almost immediately after I told y’all I’d be writing here again, my current roommate asked me to move out. As I was subleasing and she is on the actual lease, she is totally within her rights to do this, but as I just moved into this place in May, I was pretty bummed. Moving is expensive and stressful, and being told for the second time in a year that the person I was living with didn’t particularly like living with me made me extra anxious about finding a good match for a roommate.
See, I totally thought I would HAVE to find a roommate, because LA is expensive, I don’t make that much money, and oh, I just started paying for my own health insurance, negating what little wiggle room I had in my budget. And that’s what I started out doing–looking at established apartments that were short a roommate, and looking for roommates to go in on a place with. At first I wasn’t getting many responses, and then I found a kick-ass group of people that I tried to get a place with. Unfortunately, twice in a row we picked seemingly awesome places that then fell through because the landlord decided to be sleazy about things at the last minute [changing terms, refusing to take blatantly illegal and unfair clauses out of the lease, etc.]. After the second failure, our little group disbanded and decided we’d be better off looking on our own.
Now, moving already pushes all of my anxiety/insecurity buttons. I don’t like thinking about money all the time, especially as it makes me focus on my shame about not making more or knowing what the hell I’m doing career-wise. I don’t like spending large sums of money. I don’t like not knowing what my living situation is going to look like in a month. Negotiating with landlords stresses me out, but I’m also terrified of agreeing to terrible exploitative terms and getting royally fucked over. Basically, moving is the worst.
Add on top of that two failed opportunities for a place and dealing with the emotions of three other people about that failure, and I was pretty fried.
And then a miracle happened.
The day after finding out we definitely weren’t getting the second place, I made appointments to see as many apartments as I could in one afternoon/evening. Since I don’t have a car, this required a fair bit of Uber-ing, but I decided to swallow the cost just to hopefully have the whole mess done. I saw a bunch of places with roommates that may have worked okay, but I wasn’t totally thrilled with for one reason or another.
And then in the middle of my rapid-fire hunt, I got a call about a place that I’d totally thought was a scam–a one bedroom apartment for a similar price to a room in most two bedrooms in the area where I’m looking. I live on the west side of LA, which is more expensive than some other areas, but living close to my friends and work is basically a requirement given my lack of car. On the west side, one-bedrooms or even studios with full kitchens are ALWAYS substantially more than my maximum possible budget would allow. This one was in my budget and a 1-bedroom, not a studio–almost certainly too good to be true, right? But I had been curious enough to email and ask about it, and I got this call back offering to show me the place that night. I still figured there had to be something horribly wrong with the place at the price they were offering, but since I was on a roll, I figured why not?
Turns out, the place was not a scam. It is an older building, and the kitchen is tiny with an ancient stove/oven, but everything is functional and clean. The reasons for the low price are somewhat complicated, but basically all stem from the fact that it used to be a two-bedroom apartment that has since been split into a one-bedroom and a bachelor, and because of the way that was done, they can’t legally lease it as an independent apartment–the tenant in the bachelor is on the main lease, and the one-bedroom is rented as a sublease.
While there are some minor inconveniences that result from this setup, for my particular situation, they are totally worth it to have my own place. So I’ve signed the [sub]lease and will move in on September 30th. This will be the first place of my own I have outside of student housing, so I’m pretty excited.
All that said, while the biggest anxiety [will I find a place?] is over, I’m still sort of a ball of stress. Packing. All of the expenses of setting up a new place[I've never furnished a living room!]. Moving by paying actual movers to move 100% of the stuff, since circumstances are requiring me to move on a weekday and having friends help even with boxes isn’t really an option. Having to take a day off work to move, after already taking days off for stress-related health issues earlier in the month. And what if I’ve totally made the wrong decision, and I’m miserable there and have to go through this whole process again sooner rather than later?
So yea. This is why you haven’t heard from me much lately. I’m starting to feel like I have a handle on things though, and it’ll all be over soon. Fingers crossed that everything works out, and that I’ll be writing interesting stuff again soon.