A lot can happen in a month.
You’re living on your own with your boyfriend and two roommates, you make your money by working in a coffee shop, you go on auditions and finally land a part, you reconnect with old friends, meet new friends, go out one too many nights in a row, get two hours of sleep and head to work at 5am, sign a lease, terminate said lease, give your leftovers to a homeless man, pack all of your shit, blink, and find yourself in a room that you haven’t lived in for years.
Let me elaborate. Warning: this post may be lengthy. I have a lot of time on my hands this evening.
Jacob (my boyfriend) and I have been together for over three years and have been living together for one. The truth? I love that dude, and he’s the best roommate I’ve ever had, even if he does leave plates on the sofa and pours too much laundry detergent in the washing machine. He means well. We lived in the dreaded Gentilly area for awhile before moving on up(town). Living in uptown is fan-freakin-tastic. You definitely get spoiled to “living in the city” when you finally do, and being able to walk to coffee shops, restaurants, and being literal feet away from St. Charles isn’t half bad either. Plus, it’s kind of gratifying to be like, “Oh, Uptown. *hair flip*” when someone asks you where you live.
We moved in with another couple and took over their third roommate’s lease. The lease ends on July 1. We contemplated staying there and renewing the lease, because it was affordable and we liked the area (minus that crazy story about the strangler on the loose, which is a story that I’d rather not get into). We got word from the landlord that she was going up on rent. Still doable, we thought, until we got the number. She was increasing rent by roughly $400/month. After we all stopped laughing hysterically/crying because scared, we decided to part ways as roommates and figure our sh*t out.
The hunt began, and it lasted a little while, until we found a place close to Tulane (the college, not the street – I felt compelled to clarify for the locals who probably gasped). Long story (and I mean LONG story) short, we actually terminated our lease. After a few choice words from our landlord and then a reconciliation a week later, we all parted ways with no harm done.
This is the part that gets tough to share, but I promised myself years ago to become more “transparent” and to “let people in more”, so I guess it’s time to act on that. I want to be an open book for you guys and not put on this front like my life is all mimosas and rainbows.
After a very long deliberation (I’m talking legit pro/con lists), many tears, and a whole container of dark chocolate covered edamame, Jacob and I made the very tough, but very logical, decision to move back home with our families.
Hold on, but you’re 22 going on 23, have a college degree, and can only function in the city.
You are correct. I am 22 (turning 23 on August 29th – don’t forget it!), have a Bachelor’s Degree in Film, Theatre and Communication Arts, and feel at my best when I’m in the midst of New Orleans living.
I have a place to retreat to that is welcoming, safe, and best of all, free. A place whose door is wide open and has been for my 22 years of life. A place that I actually called home for 11 years. And that place is my wonderful, beautiful, amazing great-grandmother’s house which is only a hop, skip and a jump from my beloved city (aka, the city in which my whole life takes place).
Making the decision to forgo living on my own and living with Jacob was very tough. I moved away to college when I was 17 and only lived at home during the summer months. Straight after graduating, I moved in with Jacob, and I’ve been living on my own and paying bills ever since. I never asked for help, I worked for everything that I wanted/needed, and I prided myself on that. I won’t lie and say that my pride wasn’t a little damaged when I asked if I could move into my grandmother’s house, but all of my negative and less-than feelings were fleeting, and I now know that this was a very wise decision for my future. Because I am living rent free, I am able to save almost every single penny that I make. Don’t get me wrong, I will still cater to my breakfast cocktail and donut needs, but what’s leftover will go straight to the bank and stay there for when I do move to New York (I heard you need like, money to live there or something). And I will. I will be there. It’s more of a reality today now that I’m no longer dropping $500+ a month on bills.
I’m actually sitting in my new room now. When my grandparent’s rebuilt this house (the original one burned in a fire), they built a room for me. It’s almost as if they were saying, “She’ll be back.”
Welp, SURPRISE Y’ALL. Here I am.
I’m looking around, and I see all of my little things that help me feel more at home. My comforter, a picture that my mom painted that’s hanging above my bed, my little owl figurines… they all bring me a sense of peace. One thing that I miss most of all, however, is Jacob.
I’ll miss trying to fall asleep at night and having to hound him because his video game was too loud. I’ll miss waking up in the morning and seeing his sleepy face first thing. I’ll miss walking into the house after a long morning at work and being greeted by his smiling face and a hug. Every. Damn. Time. He’s always there. Always has been. For all of these years.
(New York, Christmas 2013)
I’ve always considered myself to be sharp and a fast learner, but it took me awhile to realize just how much Jacob is a part of me. I tend to be very stubborn, and I like to do things on my own, because I AM WOMAN, but it’s nice to have a companion who just gets you. Who can simply look at you and know that you’re thinking, “coffee and donuts” (which was, well, often), who will drive all the way to Metairie at 9pm because you want an oreo Sonic blast only to change your mind last minute and go with Baskin Robbins. Who will make the bed just the way you like it, because he knows it’ll make you happy or teach you how to play Watch Dogs, while simultaneously laughing his ass off because you can’t even steer the damn car.
I’ll miss those things. I’ll miss having them right next to me.
One thing I am very thankful for is that he is only five minutes away. I know I just made it seem like Jacob was moving out of state… I’m dramatic, what can I say. But when you go from living with a person for a year and then…not… in like, an hour, shit gets real. Fast.
But I think about why we’re doing this, and I’m at peace.
When times get tough, and, believe me, they will, I need to remember to focus on my future. My mom told me, “Plan now for a better future for yourself.” Those words haven’t left me since I called her sobbing a few weeks ago. Mothers know best, especially mine who has dealt with it all and more.
So there’s a little insight into my life as of now. I’m going through a bit of a challenge, but I know I’ll be okay. I’m fifteen minutes away from where I used to live, Jacob and I are going back to actually “dating” each other, which is a welcomed change of pace, and I’m going to be like, so rich because of all the MONEY I SAVE. Just kidding, I’m not rich. Whole Foods, gas, and the target dollar bins take all of my money. I’m oddly okay with it. B-words need their organic supergreens.
Thanks for sticking around if you’ve made it this far. It means the whole wide world to know that people actually read what I write. Regardless if there are readers or not (and there are! I check my stats!), it just feels good knowing that all of this isn’t stuck in my head and my head only. It can get a bit crowded in there.
Before I go, I want to share a picture with you guys. This little dude was one of the first things I saw when moving into my old place, and, oddly enough, it was one of the last things I saw while moving out. It made me smile.
This is the neighborhood peacock. I don’t know where he came from, but he lives a half block off of Carrollton. He’s a peach. I named him Gerald With a G. I noticed he was missing for a few weeks, so I made up a story that he was just partying at Bayou Boogaloo long after it closed.
Just for fun, I looked up what peacocks symbolize.
Good luck, watchfulness, and renewal. I think that’s very suiting.
Talk to y’all soon,