Starting the Year Off with a Tidal Wave

I had a fairly stressful and unpredictable childhood. A common theme growing up was how flexible can you be to the sure to come changes. I learned what I had to keep doing to stay happy and what I needed to let go of when extra stress used my energy in new ways. Now, I’m so grateful to have those skills as an adult.

Two weeks ago my landlord emailed me saying that she was not going to renew my lease for Aug 15 – Aug 16 (I could move across the hall to a smaller unit for $100 more though). My landlord had decided to do more renovations and would need my apartment. She even offered to let me move out early, in May. This was a big shock since we had negotiated a price and lease terms in November. Housing in Madison, especially downtown, can be incredibly competitive. You need to find housing for your next year well in advance. Looking for housing in January after the college students have returned is an almost doomed experience.

My first reaction was to internally scream and talk about it with a couple friends and family. I need a chance to vent. The questions and frustrations need a release quickly or I’ll just bottle them up and let them stew inside me corrupting all my actions. But, I don’t give myself too much time to dwell on those frustrations. I took a deep breath and got to work looking for new apartments that very day. I scheduled two or three apartment showings every day for a week. I asked around on social media and at work looking for leads to good apartments. Most of the apartments I saw were disgusting. They weren’t just a little dirty; they were moldy, falling apart, and lacking natural light. But then, one management company asked me to take a look at a different building than I requested. The online pictures did not look promising but it’s always a good idea to see as much as possible.

Inside this weirdly looking blue building were beautiful wood floors and original stain glass in places. The entryway was clean and open with glass doors. The second studio I walked into was perfect. It had built-in book cases (small, but still!), large south facing windows, a nice bump out kitchen, and a wonderful open feel to it. I was in love. Units like this don’t come up every day and were sure to garner a lot of interest. That very afternoon I filled out my application and sent it off by bike messenger. I prayed my application would be the first and that my earnest money check would clear after my paycheck on Thursday.

But before finding my lovely studio apartment I had a dentist appointment. Last fall an old filling had cracked part of my tooth off. I needed to get a crown put in. Crowns are very expensive little buggers. I had decided to wait until January and use my flexible health care spending account through work to slowly pay for it all year. I started giving plasma again on the weekend to help make-up that money being taken out of my paycheck. My appointment went as well as expected (having people drill around your mouth is always an unusual experience). I get to the paying part only to hear that the cost is $200 more than I was quoted last fall! So, suddenly I was facing paying a security deposit this month and extra medical bills. My dentist was nice enough to let me wait till my follow-up appointment to pay for the remainder. Hopefully, that will give me enough time to find some extra money.

About this time I also met someone on OkCupid. Now, I’m absolute rubbish at dating. I have unrealistic (apparently) expectations for stable, intelligent men. It’s not something that I can approach with much calm confidence. But this tentative relationship seems to be going well so far. I won’t go into too much detail right now since it’s so early, but it could prove to be a nice change!

The last two weeks have been busy and a bit of a whirl wind. I journaled more, reached out to friends, and tried to keep my nightly yoga/meditation practice going. I let go of other projects temporarily, reduced time spent on hobbies, and avoided drama at work. The stresses I was facing this week were really very simple, small things to deal with. But I’ve worked hard in the last couple years to create a life that is simple and stress-free. This sudden onslaught of changes was a good reminder that I have the skills to handle the tides of life no matter what they bring. It also reminded me that sometimes life only gets better when you push for those big upheavals. Now I find that 2015 looks like it will be the best yet. I got the lovely studio I loved. My federal tax return should cover the dentist bills. I might have a promising relationship starting. I got accepted as a substitute host on Pagan Perspective (something I auditioned for in December). That’s a lot of exciting changes all in two weeks!

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