Monday, October 29, 2007

the coffee drinker

I've been working very hard over the past year to achieve a mystical, likely unrealistic, idea of adulthood. I got my very own apartment and big girl furniture (ie. none of it is neon in color, as it was in my college years). Then I started trying real cheese. Like, not the Velveeta cheese on which I was raised. I'm now a huge fan of goat cheese. I started appreciating my father, not for bailing me out on my rent when I needed it, but for being my biggest supporter of things big and small. My dad never forgets to say, "my daughter, I'm proud of you..." or sometimes just, "I know you're trying and you're doing just fine."

Adulthood has required an excrutiating amount of mental change for me. I'm sure it does for most people. I'm not ashamed to say that, in the thick of my growth, I slipped into a serious depression. I think this probably happens to a lot of people, too. I sought help, and I am proud of myself for admitting that it was too much for me on my own. I worked hard to understand things in a new way and I'm doing much better -- in every aspect of my life -- than I was just a year ago.

2007 was very painful for me. I went through everything from a break-up to depression to a brain tumor scare. But everything is fine now. I am fine now. I am less worried about getting a ring on my finger and more focused on making relationships work. My breakdowns, now, are much more warranted, and on occasion, necessary. Like when I could have been homeless. Last year they were mostly about not liking to do laundry.

Ideas that didn't make sense my whole life are beginning to come together for me now. Twenty-six is apparently my time to get a hold on things.

This post was originally meant to be about me beginning to drink coffee. I've always hated the taste of coffee. But, this morning, when I could barely get out of bed and it was cold, I thought today would be the day to stop at Starbucks and continue to slow descent into adulthood. With a vanilla latte. And it was pretty good. I woke up a bit and I'm considering another when I head out for lunch. Like, wow.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

bang for your real estate buck

I read in Glamour this month that the average monthly rent for women is something like $425. In New York, it's closer to three times that amount, if not four.

I've spent the last few weeks tirelessly looking for a new apartment. I don't want a four-bedroom, 3.5 bath duplex on Park Avenue. I want a studio in Hoboken for less than half of my monthly salary. I didn't think this would be an impossible feat, but it seems to have turned into one.

I've had two panic attacks since my search started. I've called well over a dozen realtors (an aside: when did realtors stop wanting commission? Nearly every realtor I've encountered has been unhelpful at best. Is my money less green than everyone else's? You'd think the desperation in my voice would be like blood in the water to them...). And I've managed to see three... count 'em, THREE apartments. All within my price range, yet all miserable in their own way. The first I saw had an archaic heating system. All heat radiated from the oven; something straight out of the early 1900's, not 2007. This apartment, while fine in other ways, also had an exposed water heater in the middle of the kitchen. Meaning, should it have ever exploded, I may have floated away into oblivion.

The second, in a lovely area of Park Slope, was slightly larger than a matchbox car. When my brother was four or five he had a twin bed shaped like a race car. That may be the only bed that would fit in this place. My plush queen didn't even have a chance. Yes, New York is known for its small apartments, but for exactly half of my current take-home income, I'd like to be able to at least have my bed. The kitchen cabinets were another (albeit small) issue. At 5'2", I could only (barely) reach the bottom most cabinet. I would have needed a full-sized ladder to reach any of the others.

In the third, the bathroom was immediately OUTSIDE the front door. That's all I will say about that.

I have to vacate my current apartment in 12 days. I feel panic attack number three coming on.