Archive | June, 2015

Just Be You

27 Jun

Welcome back, dear readers!

Last time you heard from me I was struggling to climb to the top of a literal (& probably metaphorical) mountain. I was unsure about my future, & I was scared. But I want to let you know that this post is completely different. I am in such a good place right now!

But that was not the case a few weeks ago.

Why? Oh, because of one of the most soul crushing things a ‘young professional’ can do in a big city: apartment hunt.

Now let me say, I was initially very excited to apartment hunt. For me a change in address (even when it is like 5 miles away from where I currently reside) is invigorating. It’s a temporary solution to my constant wanderlust! I get to meet new people & craft a somewhat brand new life! 

I also wasn’t aware of the awfulness of apartment hunting because I really never had to hunt for any of my previous apartments.

In Prague (yeah, my first ‘big girl’ apartment was in not in the U.S.) I was reminded 3 days before my TEFL Certiciate program ended that the hotel we were currently residing in would kick us out at the end of the week. So, thinking quick, I consulted the wonderful expat community (a community of ‘expatriates’ or people who moved to the city from different countries, totally look these up if you ever move abroad), & moved into an apartment in the JZP neighborhood with 2 American guys & 1 New Zealander girl.

(Best roomies ever, miss you guys & Milesovska 1312/6! )

Yes, our apartment was the ever charming post-communist style with a leaking fridge, broken drawers, a clogged shower & blown lightbulbs, but it was only $350 a month, in the BEST location & my roommates are now basically my siblings (see you in July, Dan!).

Once I moved back to the U.S., after living at RWU for the summer, then at home for the dog bite fiasco, I got my dream job in Boston with EF. So this called for another move, this time to the big city!

Like before I was also on a time crunch, however, this time there were a few more road blocks. Consulting Craigslist.com, I soon realized that it was almost impossible to have it all. Meaning I couldn’t have fun roommates, AND a nice apartment AND live in a safe area…with my budget range.

I gave up & decided to try a new attack plan. I put up an ad about me in the seeking an apartment section.

I got all KINDS of offers! Apartments that were too expensive, apartments that were too far away & one message from a Vietnam Veteran who told me I’d have to lock my door at night because he sometimes had visions. I almost gave up.

& Then I got a message I thought was spam from a girl named Jen.

Jen’s condo was so nice AND close enough to work AND in my budget AND she seemed normal.

It was a done deal & soon I was a Medford resident.

(My actual first big girl apartment. The windows closed all the way & kitchen was not virtually IN my room, sorry Prague apt)

Medford life was cool for a while but then it was time for a new adventure in the neighboring Somerville.

If you don’t know much about Boston, you should know that each neighborhood is quite different & demographics of different people flock there. Allston/Brighton is all students, Back Bay is ACTUAL business working professionals & if you’re lucky enough to live in Beacon Hill/North End you have a lot of $$$.

Since I work in Cambridge (aka: the city where both Harvard AND MIT are), I always try to move north of the city. You are still on the bus/subway lines & the rent is half the price.

While living in Medford (which gives me the vibe of a more residential older demographic) I was constantly venturing over to the neighboring Somerville every time I would go out. Somerville is FULL of 20somethings & has a ton of ‘sqaures’ with a lot of character. Basically it’s hipster heaven. Think bikes, good coffee shops, craft beers, impressive facial hair, vintage clothing. I love this town. Especially Davis Square where I found a restaurant that serves a dark beer closely resembling my beloved Kozel Cerny in CZ!

I wanted to move to Somerville!

(Fav place!)

However, since all my previous moves had gone along so swimmingly, I was not prepared what was lying ahead of me.

I searched Craigslist, inquired about a ton of places (including a brief yet exciting autobiography!), heard back from half & set up times to look at the apartments. Easy right? Sure.

But I didn’t take into account was how PICKY I am! Well not picky, just adamant on my deal-breakers if I was going to be signing a year-long lease. So no, I do kinda need a washer & dryer in the unit, & yeah 30something year old male roommates who never socialize isn’t ideal, & for obvious reasons I’m not trying to live with a dog.

Finally I found an apartment that fit all my criteria! & I did what I always do when I really like something–I start planning & day-dreaming about all the possibilities. I was so excited! However, being the cautious person I am, I wanted to look at one more place before making a final decision.

But I waited too long.

Soon I got the dreaded text (the first of many) “Hey sorry! The room is full, best of luck!”

This pattern continued on for the next TWO weeks. I looked at apartments, I found one I liked, I aggressively let the tenants know I wanted to live there, then they chose someone else.

After losing the 3rd apartment, I became jaded about the process.

Maybe it was me? Maybe I’m too loud, too excited, too over-zealous & that’s why no one wants to live with me?

It’s always a sad day when I have to question my personality/outward appearance to others because I have worked so hard for so long to become the person that I am today. I went from insecure & influenced to a confident strong leader. I really like who I am as a person, but in this realization I have learned that not everyone does. I cannot be best friends with everyone all the time because my personality comes on strong & can overwhelm some.

But I found that my longest lasting friendships were with people who just got me & loved me for who I am & that has always been enough. 

(Some of my closest friends in one picture. Merci salopes for always allowing me to be sucha weirdo & loving me anyway!)

So my apartment search continued. And no, I was NOT going to “tone it down”. I would be just as cheerful, excited & enthusiastic because let’s be real who wants to live in an apartment that is described as “quiet & low key” anyways!?

This is the person I am & if you agree to live with me I want you to share in my excitement not shush me (BIGGEST PET PEEVE EVER).

Finally it was almost the end of the month, I was burnt out, broken, confused & just sad. I had nowhere to live & July was soon approaching. I decided to send out one last inquiry to a listing that had no pictures, no big details, just the basics. I agreed to set up a meeting the next day.

I went there with no hope in my heart, I didn’t want to get all excited again just to be let down.

I look at the exterior, oh wow this is cute. Went inside, whoa this place is pretty nice. Met the two girls living there, hey we have a lot in common & they seem fun. Saw the bedroom, okay so I could put my bed over there, bureau right there. Saw the backyard, yay we could have some bbqs. 

Soon I couldn’t resist, I was bursting with excitement yet again. 

I had 2 more apartment viewings scheduled for later that day & told the girls I’d let them know right away. I said bye & walked out into the perfect summer day. I walked around the neighborhood, looking for a place to grab breakfast. Birds were chirping, the sun was shining, & neighbors said good morning as I walked along the parameter of the nearby Tuft’s University campus.

Then I saw it, my sign: at the bottom of the hill there was a French pastry shop.

As I sat inside sipping my tea & eating my muffin I just knew. After a quick phone call to my mom, she agreed with my thinking. Two cancellation texts went out to the other two apartments because I had found my new home. 

I held my breath waiting for the girls’ response. Maybe I was too loud? Maybe they didn’t like me? Maybe someone quieter, calmer, more professional viewed the place after me & they want to live with them?!

But then I got the text I had been waiting almost a month for: “Great Jessi! We would love to live with you! You seem awesome! I will e-mail you the rental application now!”

(Tufts University campus, I am literally living on the next street over, note: the city skyline in the distance)

Victory!

All my quirkiness, personality & energy had found me the perfect new home with people who actually appreciated it. I am so glad I didn’t have to censor myself in any sort of way to get this apartment because that would have been one long year. 

I can NOT wait to move in next weekend & start this new chapter of my life & make some new friends. It’s an exciting time right now in my life AND in my country. SAME SEX MARRIAGE IS LEGAL IN ALL 50 STATES IN THE USA! All my LGBTQ friends (who mainly make up the group of people who have always embraced my quirky unique personality) are now free to be themselves too!

Diversity is a beautiful thing, dear readers. Living in a way that you can be as loud, crazy, whimsical as you want without others, or your country, shushing you is beautiful. Not worrying about censoring or hiding as part of your personality because you’re worried what others may think of it. 

It is just SO wonderful when you are truly free to be you 🙂

Cheers! And THANK YOU Supreme Court, for the first time in a while I am so unbelievably proud of my country!

#LoveIsLove

JG ❤

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