Nothing can crush a dream faster than reality smacking you in the mouth.
After a year of going back and forth on moving out on my own, I found a deal so good that I signed a lease on a one-bedroom apartment within a week of finding it. It felt amazing to take the plunge and I took pride in my new accomplishment.
Ready to start fresh, I spent the following weeks leading up to the move purging hand-me-down furniture, throwing out items collecting dust and finding socks I wrongfully accused the sock troll of stealing. I made big girl purchases, bought real furniture and even painted a canvas to hang above my new couch. I was starting to envision a new life in a space I could call my own.
I had everything I needed and was ready to go – ready to start over. This finally validated all of the time, energy and hard work I’ve put in since starting my career in New York.
I moved my stuff in and started unpacking, reality set in. I moved into a complete shithole.
The bottom cabinets were warped with water damage. There was a leaky sewage pipe in the middle of my kitchen with mold around it. Pipes banged behind the walls when I turned on the water. My bedroom window wouldn’t close all the way and it was on the first floor of the building. My place was literally falling apart and so was my dream.
When I did the walkthrough of the place a month prior, I noticed the place was old. The bathroom needed some updating and there was crack in the tile but it appeared livable.
I told myself these things could be fixed. This was temporary. Everything was going to be fine. It’s in my nature to take action when things go wrong and I don’t sit idly by waiting for someone to help me.
However, the landlord needed to fix these problems. This was completely out of my control.
Much to my relief there was a vacant apartment across the hall. They would move me in until the other place was fixed. Turns out that other place was infested with bugs.
Trying to “relax” when you don’t feel comfortable in your home is pretty much impossible but literally being eaten alive by bugs, forget about it. If it weren’t for my friends opening their doors to me and letting me sleep in their beds, I would have completely lost my shit.
Sure, it’s best to stay positive and persistent in stressful situations. In this case, it’s what ultimately freed me of the lease and helped me get most of my money back. Having an amazing support system that houses you, feeds you, checks in on you, and helps you move two times in 3 weeks right before the holidays also makes a shitty situation a lot less shittier.
But when things suck really badly, it’s ok to just accept that the situation itself sucks. I realize I don’t need to lie to myself anymore. I don’t have to convince myself that everything is ok when it isn’t. I didn’t know where I was going to sleep or where I was going to live and that really sucked. And I cried. And then I cried some more. And sometimes I still cry about it because my dream was crushed.
But eventually you stop crying, you get up, you dust yourself off and start over again – because that’s the way life works.