Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Never Ending Apartment Search As A Metaphor For Life

I need an apartment. I came home from Israel and have been staying with my folks but this girl is about to turn (cough cough) 30 and needs her space. I love my family and I am so thankful that despite close quarters they were willing to take me in… but I need my space.

So I have been on the hunt for an apartment. First I had to get a job. Some level of stability is important, you don’t want to get a lease and then not be able to afford it but also apartment complexes and owners frown on giving apartments to people without income. So I found a job. Once I had a contract signed and was sure it was going to pay me… I started looking for an apartment.

I found every resource online (have you met me? I am, as a dear friend puts it, an interwebs ninja) and tracked down every locale. I pinpointed the areas I wanted to live in, the price range I wanted to be in, the amenities that were key:

Must have: washer and dryer, parking space, be close-ish to work and friends.

Must not: be on the first floor, have old fixtures, be in a bad neighborhood.



I thought, there has to be a place out there somewhere… within my price range. Every spare second of my day was consumed with the search. I would find places on Craig’s List and contact them immediately only to find them gone before I had even seen the post. I would call complexes offering one price online only to find out that when you spoke to them parking was an extra $80 a month, the price was only for the first floor and everything else was $400 more, or they had nothing available until May.

What was going on?! Why wasn’t my dream place just appearing like I had anticipated? I just couldn’t understand… heck, I still can’t understand why as I sit in my father’s office at my parent’s house. The final nail in my apartment coffin came this evening, when I received an email from a place that I had built up in my mind as the perfect place declining my application. It made no sense! I have a stellar rental history, solid income and employment, decent credit, and to top it all off… I WAS HIS ONLY APPLICATION! I don’t know why my mini real estate mogul turned me down… I will have to investigate with his consumer reporting agency but what I do know is this… the place was a little on the small side. The kitchen was tiny and you have to be one of those super creative space people (like my friend Morgan at Casa Cullen) to make the living room/dining room space work. But I had convinced myself that since it was in my price range, it had the amenities I wanted, it was in the perfect location for me that it was the right place for me.

But what if I was wrong? What if G-d turned me down for this place because The Big G knew that I wasn’t going to be happy there? I got tired of looking, I settled for a place that met my surface requirements.

Don’t we all do that sometimes? Don’t we all just want to find the ‘right now’ solution instead of the right one? We do this in dating, in work, in numerous situations in life. Right now, I am doing that with an apartment. With too many other balls in the air, I decided to stop juggling that one and take the superficially good one I found. G-d said no. In the form of a consumer-reporting agency… but G-d said no.


I am a big believer that G-d makes G-d’s will known in your life. With little nudges, you can see the right/better/more fruitful path. I am also a big believer that most of us ignore G-d’s signs/signals/morse code most of the time and that is how we end up in the crummy situations with 20/20 hindsight.

Sometimes life is a seemingly never ending search for the right apartment. The place where you will feel like home and safe. A search that makes you an apartment real estate expert and a very frustrated person. One where you often find yourself ready to pay more than you wanted for less than you wanted… but that rarely works out for the best.

You just have to know what you want (w&d, parking space) and what you don’t (first floor, old fixtures) and how much you are willing to give of yourself in exchange for it. And if you sacrifice on those details, it may work out… or you may come to resent your home space and be stuck with it for the next 11 months of your lease.

 

Note:  This blog was originally posted on Talia's personal blog.