So it happened. Or, more aptly, “it” is going to happen. Because it really hasn’t happened just yet. But it’s going to, and that’s what matters.
Alright, alright. I’ll stop being vague. I’m moving out of my parents house into my very first non-college apartment.
I found a place to live with my roommate (let’s just call her “Awesome”). Awesome and I met in college, bonded over She’s the Man, and became best friends. Once we graduated, we knew Life had to happen, so we figured, why not do this Life thing together? We’ve been planning, worrying, discussing, pinning, and languishing all summer about how we were going to afford and find a place.
You see, we’re from small towns in Indiana. Places without public transportation or stores/culture within walking distance (because, oh yeah, neither of us drives). And we really really want a big city. So Awesome applied to a few grad schools and ended up getting accepted to a professional school in Chicago. Yes! Big city: check.
Me? I’m not going to grad school, at least not for now. Too many loans to pay off as it is. So I need a job and preferably one in my field. Oh, what’s my field? Well, about that: I graduated from university with a BA in English Literature (“and a Business minor,” she says in a small voice). And no, I do not want to be a teacher. Did I say I have a degree in Education? No, I did not. My dream job is to be an editor of fiction novels. What I actually qualify for is to be a cashier at The Home Depot and pretty much nothing else. So I’m not too sure how I’m going to make that dream come true, but that’ll be another facet of this blog I suppose.
Awesome doesn’t have a job either, by the way. We’re working on it. Ability to pay for rent: no response.
This past weekend, Awesome, her parents, my parents, and I all hopped into a rental van that looked more like a UFO with all the gadgets, self-closing doors, and mode lighting and headed for Chicago. My and Awesome’s plan was shaky at best as 1) we know next to nothing about Chicago, 2) we can only do so much emailing and phone calling, and 3) hardly anyone got back to us and when they did it was to explain that the apartment was already leased. This made our parents uneasy, understandably, but it was really hard for Awesome and I to contain our displeasure with their displeasure.
Thank God for apartment finding services (which are normally free because the landlords pay them to advertise and show apartments). We sat down with this cool chick, explained what we wanted, our jobless circumstance, and crossed our fingers as she printed off a few listings.
The first place we saw, I actually got hopeful. It felt homey, it was in a good neighborhood, and it was in our price range. It had these huge windows that were just full of character, and a living room as big as the bedrooms that was separated from the kitchen (which itself was fairly sized). Yes, the place was older. The appliances were used and the bathroom was a little outdated, but aesthetically, I fell in love with it.
The next two units were in the same building and were… unsatisfactory. Neighborhood was less appealing. Not to mention the building was going through renovation and just wasn’t ready to have tenants. We all left knowing the first place trumped what we’d just seen.
We got a contender with the last stop though. The units had just been renovated, and everything just sparkled. The entry opened up to the bathroom, a bedroom, and the in-unit washer/drying. But when my mom looked down the hallway, she literally gasped at the kitchen. It was actually a kitchen/living room as there was a largish empty space between the 2nd bedroom wall and the kitchen bar. And there was not only stainless steal refrigerator and oven, but a microwave and a dishwasher as well. This, we thought, was unheard of in the apartments in our price range. But, lo and behold, there they were.
Because it was newer, there was less character involved, but Awesome’s parents quickly pointed out that utilities like heat and electricity would be cheaper because of the brand new windows (blinds included) and being in between the first and third floors. The older unit had those huge windows (no curtains, another expense), that would be harder to hold heat, and who knew how many repairs we’d have to make to the space in general. This was all very practical. But my heart belonged to the older unit.
Maybe this says something about me: on the drive back to the apartment finding office, discussion ensued and I decided right then and there that for my first apartment, for my first really adult decision, I was going to be practical, analytical. Of course, it wasn’t only up to me, but practicality comes more naturally to Awesome. Maybe someday, when I become rich on a few popular books that I’ve edited, I can do unpractical things like chose an apartment more on what it feels like then on what it’ll do to my bank account, but for now, I have no regrets. I can only go forward from here.
So it happened. We signed the papers, applied for the unit, and now we wait for approval. But I can feel it happening. I’m a move away from being a young adult woman in a Restless Paradise.