Welcome To Ross

The Last 5 Years

Four months ago I made a promise to either be in a better place (financially, career-wise, etc) or else I would up and move to another city. I figured, if my life here was stagnant, maybe a change of scenery would jumpstart things a bit. While the idea was solid, life has a funny way of kicking you while you’re depressed down. I was unemployed when I wrote that post and I only recently got a job (though it is a very short-term freelance project). So unfortunately, in those four months that were to potentially be my last in New York, I watched a lot of Golden Girls, read a few good books and burned through all of my savings paying rent, buying groceries and printing resumes for interviews…

That brings me to today. I have made a few decisions and I figured I’d keep all of you updated. I’m not exactly thrilled with the direction my life is headed, but damn it I’m still alive. So that’s a pro. Let’s start at the very beginning… Back in 2011, I was struggling to find my first apartment alone. I hadn’t found a place I liked, could afford and wasn’t in Staten Island… I knew I wanted to live by myself because that was the dream since I could tie my own shoes. My boss at the time emailed me a Craigslist posting for an apartment in Brooklyn and I called to set up an appointment. They guy over the phone told me I should come look at it ASAP, so I left work and met him outside the building.

As I walked up to meet him, he was walking out with another guy and they shook hands as the guy left. I asked “Did you just show him the apartment I’ll be looking at?” I felt like I showed up to a date only to see my date kissing another guy goodbye. Long story short, the guy wanted a few hours to think about it. I looked at the place, liked it enough and offered to sign the lease immediately. I went back to work to tell my boss the exciting news and she asked me where the apartment is?

Oh, I just signed the lease on an apartment and I have no idea where it is…

I Google’d the address and panicked. I am THAT far from Manhattan? Oh boy. I took a deep breath, rented a UHaul and my Dad and I spent the better part of a day moving my stuff from my last place in Harlem to my new home for what would turn out to be the next 5 years. Almost on accident (and due to the fact that apartment hunting in New York City makes me want to pull my hair out) I kept renewing the lease year after year. It didn’t hurt that my rent hasn’t even gone up $100 in that entire span of time…

Sundae Co. | Dad and Ross Uhaul

Selfie from the Uhaul my Dad & I rented to move me in

Over the years, I have slowly replaced all the Ikea furniture with some solid choices from CB2 and some vintage/thrift shops and slowly the place began to become mine. It may have taken me a few years in some cases, but my walls are covered with pictures of family and friends and art that I love. I have adorned my space with trinkets from my travels and reminders of my life in an effort to make this tiny space in the world my own private recluse. I truly love my apartment. Despite the fact that the windows by my bed let a draft in. Despite the fact that once every few months I find a tiny little ant crawling on my bathroom floor. Even despite the fact that it may or may not be haunted

Sundae Co. | Ross Apt Details

I am sitting in my bed (which is like home base for me) looking around at the space that I carefully and deliberately curated to my taste, knowing that I have an out date. At the end of this month, I am moving out. I will have to take down every frame, pack up every memento and stare at the empty room as I hand the key back to the landlord. It feels weird to admit how emotionally attached I got to this place, but if you know me, you know how I get… The memories, good and bad, are ingrained in these wood floors. And for better or for worse, I will be leaving most of them when I go. The nights I spent cuddled up to my exes. The Saturdays I spent in bed binge-watching the latest Netflix show. And all the days where going out in the world sounded so much worse than staying curled up under the covers.

So, where am I going? At first, my only option was to cross state lines and sleep in the guest bedroom/office in my Dad’s place in Jersey. Don’t get me wrong. I love my Dad (Hi Fajj!) and spending a few months with him would have been great, but I think being secluded in a small room in a house that was a state away from my life would be a little too much for me right now. So, I called up my best friend Shira – who lives just a few blocks from me in a gorgeous 2-bedroom condo by herself – and asked if she wanted a roommate for a few months. She said yes. Quite enthusiastically actually. And we spent a good hour hashing out all the details, house rules and plotting a rough timeline of events. I will move in to her spare bedroom at the beginning of May and will plan to stay through the end of July. This gives me three months of rent-free living so I will be saving up money in order to move back out by August. If all goes well, of course.

Sundae Co. | Ross and Shira NYE

Shira & I celebrating New Year’s Eve

I will be getting a storage unit out in Jersey (because it is approx. $225 less than the ones in NYC) and will basically just be bringing some clothes and a toothbrush to Shira’s. I will save up this summer by buying groceries to meal prep, spending the absolute minimum on activities and sadly not going on any trips or vacations. I am already prepared for a very pared down birthday week/weekend as 29 means literally nothing to me. I feel incredibly lucky to have the people in my life that were there for me during the past few months and are going to be there for the next few. I am incredibly #blessed to have a best friend so willing to open up their home to me in a time of need. Yet I am incredibly pessimistic about the future. And that’s ok too right? RIGHT?!

Three months to get my life together. No big deal…

Who knows where I’ll be come August. Maybe I’ll save up money, find a great job in Chicago and move there in a few months? Maybe I’ll stumble upon a lottery ticket blowing in the wind only to discover it’s worth millions and retire to Miami? Maybe I’ll find a decent job here and a cute enough apartment up in Harlem that I’ll slowly, but surely make my new home? (Lord knows I would love to start over when it comes to interior design!)

So, that’s where I’m at. Moving into my best friends apartment with no certainty about my future. Terrifying. But such is life. Let’s see where I’m at in 5 years, shall we?

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