A Place to Call Home

I may have alluded to this in previous posts, but I am currently living with my aunt.  I had lived with her during the last school year while I was student teaching (because I wasn’t able to work much during that year and probably would not have been able to afford rent).  The situation actually worked out pretty well.  She refused to accept any rent money from me, so I got to live in a house for free.  Also, my uncle works for a company that does a lot of business out in the oilfield in western North Dakota.  His schedule forces him to spend a lot of time out there (he works 5 days on, 2 days off, then 5 days on 3 days off).  They have 3 kids, one of whom is going to school in Minneapolis and the other two are gone pretty often with school/work/friends.  I really think my aunt liked having me there because I kept her company.

Last May I decided it was time to stop freeloading and get out.  I actually lived with my parents for the summer in western ND just because I was able to find a job that paid so much more money out there (sidenote: if you or someone you know is looking for work and is willing to relocate, there is SO. MUCH. MONEY. out in the oilpatch right now).  One weekend in early June I took a trip back to Fargo and found an apartment to live in when I returned.  I found an awesome 1-bedroom place in a newer building with rent that was a little higher than I was looking to pay but still totally doable.  

I was SO EXCITED to move into my place.  It was the first place I had completely to myself.  I didn’t have to work with a roommate on who would buy what furniture, how we would decorate, what internet/TV package we would get, etc.  The place had a washer/dryer in unit (and water was paid!), a dishwasher, and a balcony.  The location was also amazing–about a 6 minute drive to school, 2 minutes from the grocery store, easy access to the interstate, etc.  

You can probably tell that I seriously loved this apartment.  Why, then, did I give it up and move in with my aunt?  As you may have guessed, it all comes back to C (the ex-fiancee).  When I first signed my lease C was working mostly on the road and was gone a lot.  He gave up his apartment and would just “touch down” at my place whenever he had some time off.  Well, by mid-July his plans changed.  He switched companies and started working full-time in Fargo, so he just moved in with me.  I don’t love the idea of cohabiting, but by this point we had been engaged for 5 months and would be married in less than a year.  I guess I didn’t think it was that big of a deal.

Then all that crap happened.  Even after I broke off the engagement I still planned to stay in my apartment (I loved that place, remember?).  That was the plan until I came back to Fargo and found that my place had been burglarized.  There are a group of meth heads out there somewhere with the extra set of keys to my place.  I changed the locks on my door right away, but I still felt unsafe at the apartment.  They know where the building is; what if they came after me?  I terminated my lease (and thankfully found a new renter almost immediately) and moved in with my aunt.

Yeah, this whole situation sucked.  I had already lost my relationship, and then I lost my home too.  I am incredibly grateful that my aunt so graciously took me back, but I need to get out.  I had been living independently for 6 months (let’s be real, C very rarely helped with rent or any bills) and it’s been tough to go back to living in someone else’s place.  To almost make matters worse, I knew my stay would be pretty temporary so I didn’t really move back in to my room.  I unpacked my clothes but nothing else.  I didn’t hang any pictures or put up any of decorations (if you know me, you know this is a big deal.  I ALWAYS decorate my living space).  I didn’t even bring my own bed with.  I’m just sleeping on the little twin bed they put in that room.  I definitely feel like an interloper.

All that will soon be changing.  Over the past two weeks I’ve been working with my sister to find a place to live.  She’s in college and lives right across the street from campus.  Her current roommates are moving to a place that is further away, but she doesn’t want to give up her location.  The result?  Starting June 1 I will be moving to the north part of town and living with my sister in a lovely 2-bedroom 2-bathroom apartment!

Displaying photo.jpgStanding in our new place (don’t worry, the animal heads will be gone)

It feels amazing to sign that lease.  We LOVE the apartment and are really excited to be roommates (even though my sister is 5 years younger than me, she’s one of my best friends–she was actually supposed to be my maid of honor this summer).  It also feels really good to know that I will soon be moving to my own place again.  It’s almost like this is the last step in getting fully back on my feet.  I sometimes refer to my old place as “my apartment.”  I’m so glad I have a new place that earns that name.  I cannot wait for June to be here so we can move in and start making this place a home.  

A couple months ago I was knocked flat on my back.  It felt like everything had been taken away from me, and I had no say in the matter.  If you’ve ever felt like this, here’s my advice: baby steps.  You don’t have to solve everything right away.  Lean on people who want to help.  I was not excited about moving back in with my aunt, but I probably would not have been able to handle apartment hunting while I was dealing with everything else in the aftermath of my life exploding.  Take baby steps and you will get better.  Now that I know I will have a home again in a few short months, I feel more complete than I have since before Christmas.  I’m not completely whole yet (there is still a gaping wound where my heart used to be and I have giant trust issues) but this was a major step in getting me there.

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