No one knows the pain of apartment hopping quite like my fellow New Yorkers… I just moved into my third apartment in a year span, but now this one feels like home.
Let’s rewind to the time I moved away from New York City, never planning to return…
I had been living and working in New York City for two years and I wasn’t quite happy with my job and I didn’t feel as though I could grow with that company. So, I did a very scary thing and quit my job without having anything else lined up. I’m very fortunate to have a supportive family that let me move back home to save money while I sorted my life out.
After I graduated in 2012, I went straight to grad school, from grad school I was fortunate enough to land a job in what was still a pretty rough market. So I never took any time to myself in between college and the real world so I allowed myself a little restoration period. After about two weeks of funemployment and living off the security deposit from my Brooklyn apartment, it was time to start the job hunt.
Plan A: I applied for a job in the athletic department at a college in Connecticut where one of my friends worked. She thought I would be a perfect fit for the role, and so did I. One other candidate and myself were brought on campus for a full day of final interviews. I had never been so confident and I thought I nailed it. Weeks went by and that confidence started to slip…I thought, “How could they be taking this long?” They kept assuring me it was HR that was causing the holdup. It turns out, they were waiting for the other candidate to accept the position before telling me no, in case he had turned it down. I was devastated and lost motivation to apply to other positions. If a job that seemed so perfect for me wasn’t the right fit, what job would be? Spoiler alert: It all worked out for the best.
Plan B: I ended up staying in my hometown, Lake Placid, NY for about 8 months instead. The plan was to save up money to move somewhere I’ve always wanted to live and then figure out the job from there. I took an administrative/coaching job at the non-profit ski racing development program I grew up in. This was a severe pay cut (luckily was living rent free in my parent’s house) and only a temporary position outside of my real career aspirations so I knew I needed a long-term plan.
As gorgeous as Lake Placid is and as blessed as I am to have grown up there and go back to visit as often as possible, the job opportunities in my field are few and far between. In grad school, I had to take an internship that was almost a two-hour commute each way just to have something relevant to my degree.
Perfect Timing: Ski season had ended and I was in the early stages of planning a move to Boston, Nashville or another city on my bucket list. I was going to spend the summer waiting tables or bartending to save up some cash until I found out about an amazing job opportunity. The only problem was, the dream job I landed was back in New York City.
I was hesitant to move back to New York because I was miserable before and I wasn’t sure if it was the city or the job that affected my mental health so greatly. Knowing this opportunity could pass me by and may never come around again was the only convincing I needed to take the chance and find out. And I’m so glad I did.
My start date was June 20th, 2016, less than 10 days after I found out the job was mine. This left me no time to secure an apartment but I was fortunate enough to have friends in the city to let me crash for a small fee while I figured out my living situation.
**The next few paragraphs will seem foreign and crazy to anyone who hasn’t lived in New York (forgive me if that’s presumptuous, most of my non-NYC friends don’t understand the housing scene here).
I was hoping a friend of mine would be nearing the end of a lease or looking for a some to fill an empty room in their apartment, no such luck. Craiglist, here I come! I found what appeared to be an amazing room available in a 5 bedroom/2.5 bathroom duplex in the heart of Williamsburg. 5 bedroom should have been a red flag, but I chose to ignore that since it was within my budget (not really, but you can’t take the money with you right?) in my favorite neighborhood and the room had 2 huge closets and outdoor space. Win.
Thankfully, it was a month to month sublet and I wasn’t on the lease, so as long as I gave a month’s notice, I could move out whenever I pleased. After about 2 months of living there, I became the only female and that was fine at first, I tend to get along well with guys anyway… but slowly and surely it started to wear on me.
In fairness, I think living with 4 other people no matter the gender would have made me want to pull my hair out regardless. Sharing a kitchen, fridge, and shower with that many people is miserable, especially when most of their cleaning habits were not quite up to my standards.
I had a good nine month run in that apartment, but my friend’s roommate was moving in with her boyfriend and wanted someone to take over her lease for the remaining 4.5 months.
I rented a Uhaul and paid my roommates in beer (BIG pro to living with all guys) to help me move from Williamsburg to the East Village. Miraculously it only took hours from the time we picked up the truck to the time we dropped it off, not accounting for packing and unpacking obviously… I’m the queen of procrastination with that.
My friend and I knew we wouldn’t be renewing our lease, she took a job at a nonprofit in March so she needed to be a bit more frugal in the rent department. Our budget was virtually the same so it made the apartment hunt pretty easy in terms of compromising on location and amenities.
We moved into our new place in Bushwick, Brooklyn this past weekend, this time we splurged and hired movers and it was SO worth it. It was the most cost effective and least stressful way since we were moving our entire apartment contents from one place to another, although we proudly purged many belongings.
It feels so good to have a fresh start at a new apartment that finally feels like my own. While I’m still living paycheck to paycheck, I finally love my job and I feel like this is where I’m supposed to be at this point in my life. Paraphrasing the oh so wise Frank Sinatra… if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.
I’m looking forward to settling in and creating more content for this blog so I can become more consistent with posts. I plan to do a lot more recipe testing and update my kitchen appliances with the money I’ll be saving on rent over time! I hope you’ll all continue to tune in and join me on this crazy rollercoaster that we call life. 🙂