Nov 21, 2012

Moving Out and Up: The New Commute

Now that I’m living in City close to Salt Lake, I’ve decided not to take TRAX anymore. It’s a little sad, because that means no more funny tales from a TRAX rider, but it’s better for me. I’m using about the same amount of gas as I did before I moved, and the scenery is so much better than the icky landscape of the land on both sides of the tracks. This also means that I can sleep in later than I was before (yay for not waking up before 6 am!), and I have a nice enjoyable drive to work. The only downside is that I no longer get two hours everyday just for reading--which means I don't go through books quite as fast as I used to!

I drive up this one street that, even though it is about 8 lanes across, is beautiful! In fact, from what I’ve seen, all the streets into Salt Lake are beautiful. When I first moved, the leaves had just turned their fall colors, and there are a lot of big, tall trees lining the streets. The only problem with my new drive is that I want to look at everything! On one street alone, I pass by four different religious buildings: a Catholic cathedral, a Presbyterian church, a Masonic temple, and our own LDS temple. And there are all gorgeous! One day, on my ride home, I looked up and saw the bell tower of the cathedral peeking over the top of the orange leaves, and I just thought back to the vacation I had taken earlier this year. I spent a day in San Francisco, where I was brought to tears by just about everything: the Golden Gate Bridge and Grace Cathedral. So I was just thinking on that drive home, looking up at the cathedral, “What if I viewed my own city like the cities I go and visit? What beauties would I see?” I think I would see something as beautiful as the changing colors against a stone building.

The next weekend we had a snowstorm, which means no more pretty fall colors. But the first day of the storm was on a Friday, so I drove home in it. That day I got stuck behind a bus, and ending up missing my turn, which meant I got to discover another street home. This street not only had the tall trees like the one I usually take, but these adorable early 20th century houses. The whole time I was driving home, I was thinking, “They look like gingerbread houses!”

I guess you can tell that I’m liking my new commute. Another perk of it is that the library is on the way home, which means that I don’t have to leave the apartment after I get there if I don’t want to. Our library is kind of small, but since I only use it to pick up holds, it’s okay!

In the next post I’ll share pictures of the apartment, and show how my geekiness has revealed itself.

Nov 11, 2012

Moving Out and Up: Packing, Moving, and Three Flights of Stairs

We had two weeks to pack before our moving day. Here's the thing with me, not only do I not like packing (and, let's be honest, who does?), but I'm really bad at it. I kind of put it off the first week, and then realized that I needed to be more motivated the second week.

I went down into the basement and just randomly wandered around, occasionally putting things in boxes, but I really had no direction! Finally, my mom came down and told me what to do. And then I'd wander around aimlessly again after having finished that one task. But, I was packed in time for us to get everything into one van, two trucks, and a car (it wasn't all just my stuff. Honest!). I have never had that much stuff in my car.

Two interesting things that happened the last week before the move: First, the Thursday before I was in charge of a craft night for the women in my ward (church congregation). I had already told them I was moving, and many of them asked me a lot about where I was going to. One woman who had helped me plan the activity talked to me a lot. I told her about how quickly it had all happened and all the situations I had just explained. And she said, "When things work together like that, then there's a reason." And there probably is. I don't know what the reason is, and I may never know, but it must just be the next stop on this road called life.

The second happened Friday night. We packed what we could in Dad's van, and I just started getting this sinking feeling. I had felt fine all week--little anxiety about the whole situation. I packed a little bit more, with a sad feeling in my heart. Finally, I went upstairs to get a hug from Mom and I just started crying. It was like, in that moment, it all became real. So, I talked to her about what I was feeling and the thoughts going through my head: living with M, a new ward, new city, my fears about what it will do to me and how I'll react. She let me talk and gave me a few tips and head's-ups.

The next day we moved. We live on the third floor, which is a nice place to live (no one above you), but a horrible place to move into. Fortunately, M has some strong friends who helped us move in. Mom and Dad stuck around for a little bit, and helped me set up my bedroom. Mostly, it was just because I wasn't quite ready for them to leave yet. But when they left, there weren't any tears. I spent the evening alone because M went out with a friend.  I just finished setting up my room and read a book. We didn't have TV (I needed to buy some rabbit ears), and we still don't have an internet, so I am so grateful for my new iPhone and it's data plan!

The next day we weren't to church. It was the first time in two years I'd gone to a single's ward, and I was a little nervous about it. But everyone was so friendly! We didn't even need to try to introduce ourselves, everyone just came up and asked us who we were, were we came from, what we were doing. It was kind of fun to see people's reactions when we said we'd known each other since fourth grade. The rest of the Sunday included M and I laying on the floor watching movies in a moving induced stupor.

The next post will be about my new commute!

Nov 10, 2012

Moving Out and Up: Applying for the Apartment

It was on a Thursday that we went to look at the apartment. I was going to stop by after work. (Apartment is located in City close to Salt Lake City.) I thought I had it all perfectly timed out, but I hit every single red light on the way to the freeway, then the traffic on the freeway started slowing down the exit before the one I needed. M called me while I was waiting at the light at the exit asking where I was. Then I got a call from Officer Manager asking if we were going to be there soon. When I told her I’d be there in 10 minutes, she said that she had some good news for us.

I also hit every red light from the freeway to Apartment Complex. Gah!

I had been pretty anxious about this all day. It was really the first grown-up thing I had ever done on my own, and I didn’t feel like I knew anything about it. And what if I signed a lease?! Then I’d really and truly be moving out of my parents’ house! M had texted me several times, and I felt like every time she would say how excited she was for it. I didn’t feel I could truly say I was excited, but I was glad for her excitement.

The good news when we got there was that, for that day only, we could get a 2 bed/2 bath for cheaper than a 2 bed/1 bath! And not only that, but there was an apartment available for move in as soon as we liked. While I would have been fine with a 1 bath, I haven’t had to share a bathroom with someone for two years and felt relieved at being able to keep it that way. We went and looked at the apartment, and while we were there, Office Manager told us that we had to make the decision in an hour because there were about 10 other people who wanted it and one couple was coming to look at it in an hour. In a way, I felt pressured about this. We asked Office Manager if we could talk by ourselves for a bit. “Go ahead and talk!” she said. But she never left us alone! It’s hard to have a candid talk about something when the person selling it to you is standing right there! So, that was a little frustrating.

We decided to apply for it and put down a deposit. Apparently, they don’t take personal checks for deposits (who knew, amiright?), so while I filled in the application, M ran around City to get a cashier’s check. While she was gone and I was filling out the application, I had a little private freak out moment. “What am I doing?!” and “Omigosh” were just a few thoughts going through my mind. M got back and we finished the process, with some notes of things we needed to send in (who carries around paystubs with them? Seriously.).  We also set our move-in date for two weeks and two days from then—November 3. And we left.

I asked M for a ride back to my car (I was in heels and parked on the opposite side of the complex). She confided in me that while she was driving around trying to find a bank, she also had a little freak out session which culminated her in calling her mom (who was on vacation on the east coast at that time). I told her of my freak out in the office. But, we both told each other, we felt good while we were IN the apartment. It felt comfortable, like we were meant to be there.

I did have a hard time driving home. I wanted to be strong and brave when I told my parents I was moving out. Ever since I had started looking at apartments, Mom would occasionally tell me “I’m homesick for you already” or something similar. I knew she would have as hard a time with me moving out as I would. Dad I didn’t worry about much—he’d made it no secret in the past two years that he was looking forward to being an empty nester again! Unfortunately, the whole me being brave thing didn’t work out too well. I got home and saw my mom. “How’d it go?” she asked. “Can I have a hug?” I responded. “Is this a goodbye hug?” Dad joked from the kitchen. I nodded, “Yeah, we paid a deposit.”

And then I burst into tears.

Nov 9, 2012

Moving Out and Up: Finding the Apartment

When I graduated college and moved back home to live in my parents’ basement, I naively thought I would only be there for six months, eight months tops. That was two years ago and I just barely moved out a week ago. I’m going to be telling the story of finding my apartment, moving in, and how I’m liking it so far in a series of posts, to keep them a bit shorter.

About a month ago my mom came home from a lunch (or dinner, I don’t really remember) with some ex-coworkers of hers with a suggestion from one of them of a place to live. I had been looking at apartments on and off, sometimes seriously, sometimes just casually. I had wanted to move out on my own—no roommates—but Mom and Dad didn’t seem to think that was a very good plan. In fact, they were pretty much against the idea. My parents very rarely share such strong feelings, so after my initial feelings of “My parents just don’t understand! Waaaa!!” I decided that there was probably a reason they felt that way. But I felt a little dejected—I did not want to live with someone I didn’t know, nor did I want to live with more than just one other person. It made me feel exhausted just thinking about having to please two or three people! (I'm so antisocial, I know.)

Around the time I was starting to look more seriously at apartments (I had just gotten my job, so it was about six months ago), my friend M got home from her LDS Mission. We went out one night to hang out and I mentioned about my parents not wanting me to live alone. Immediately she said, “I’ll live with you!” To which I’m pretty sure I said, “I think we’d kill each other.” We never talked about it again.

Back to a month ago. My mom showed me the website for the complex, and we looked at pictures and floorplans. My brain was just whirring, thinking about it. I liked the look of the complex and apartments. Now if I could only find a roommate. And M popped into my head. “No way,” I thought. “Well, maybe.” After sleeping on it, the next morning I messaged her. “You still looking to move out, because I found a place. I’ll send you the link if you’re interested.” And she responded enthusiastically (as she does. It’s good, I don’t show enthusiasm, and she always does. We’re a good pair. ;) ).

I sent a message to the Office Manager saying we were interested in a 2 bed/1 bath apartment. About a week later I had a voicemail from them. When I tried to call back, I got hung up on! I was sure they would call back, but they didn’t until about a week later, when we finally made a plan to meet and take a look at the apartment.

Next post, find out about the exciting news we got when we got to the apartment and how M and I both freaked out!