Phew man, I made it. In the six months since I've moved into my very first big-girl apartment, I haven't burned the place down, or starved to death, or filed for bankruptcy, and sometimes, that's all you can really ask for, yea?
Have I ever told you about how I ended up at this rent-controlled beaut of a hermit cave? PURE freaking luck, is what it came down to. After graduation, Cassandra and I went the 'ignorance is bliss' route and ran off to Europe, putting off employment and habitation for our Future Selves to deal with. Come mid-August, our Future-But-Now-Present selves were back in the Bay, crashing on a friend's couch back at school and thinking, "well #()$*FJ, now what?"
I retreated home to Houston and my mama's comfort food knowing full well how hellish the apartment search in SF is, and prepared for at the very least a two month search for an outrageously expensive shoebox in which to sleep. Not a week later, one of my best friends Hanna called out of the blue – "my sister's place had three rooms open up, can you move in in two weeks?"
SO. September 2nd... I found myself here:
Yes, I assure you, that purple plastic bin is no longer my desk.
I hardly ever sit at my real desk though because it's piled high with mail and lotion and bags of Cheetos and other rubbish deemed too good for the floor but too much to deal with to put away neatly.
In other words, it does not look like this usually:
So, six months later, what've I learned?
How to turn on the stove, for one thing. How to make coffee, although it took almost exploding the coffeepot twice and then finally ordering the Aeropress (magic!!!!) to do so.
I went to dinner with some friends at Stanford the other night – at my senior year house. Walking up those steps straight from a long day at work and into the familiar kitchen and having to do nothing but grabbing a plate and filling every available millimeter with hot enchiladas (coincidentally my favorite dish from our chef, Sonia) and cinnamon rolls and coffee cake and cookies... well.
It made me realize how much that rocked. The "be in the kitchen at 12pm for lunch and 6pm for dinner, hungry and ready to eat!" lifestyle. Because the one now... the "come home from work exhausted, heat up whatever frozen meal is easiest to reach or order steak nachos for the fourth time in a week or just prep a bowl of cereal" ... well, it ain't quite so nice.
With that said, I think the best part of city living is being upstairs from the best steak nachos in all the world. I call, they tell me to come down in 5 minutes, and we're good to go. Worth it.
Even though the commute to my office in South Bay is not ideal, I love being in SF on the weekends and a 10 minute Lyft ride away from all the gorgeous parks and architecture and cozy cafes I could ask for.
Also, I learned Trader Joe's literally saves the lives of twenty-somethings in cities. But that fresh produce sucks because it's donezo in a hot second. Dumb.
And that pressing "pay" for rent at the end of the month is still painful, six months later.
I need some space when I'm home in the evenings. I like undisturbed TV time... in fact, I'm convinced it's necessary for my sanity. But because I'm the type who can fall into a reclusive routine easily, I need someone to forcibly make me leave the house and act my age every now and then.
Which brings me to my next point: my roommates need to be my friends. I know a lot of people are merely acquaintances or even strangers with their roommates buttttttttt because I'm such a homebody... I need some homies in my home. We don't have to be best friends by any means, but I've learned the hard way that it's preferable if we have shared interests and are in a similar season of life.
I'm the furthest from being organized and tidy. The only reason why my room is remotely livable is because the best cleaners come every other week (tysm) and the only time I ever clean is about an hour before they arrive, when I shove every last piece of clothing previously strewn across the floor, into a corner in the closet. I still don't know how to turn on the dishwasher and often forget about recycling and am generally whatever's the complete opposite of 'domestic.' But I like to keep the common spaces respectably nice and five minutes away from a surprise visit.
I was made for city sleeping... my friends find it befuddling how I can sleep through the garbage truck, the recycling truck, the firetruck, the noise from the two bars downstairs, and the occasional homeless man who takes it upon himself to scream at the top of his lungs for a straight twenty minutes once every other month or so. Except the ONE sound I abhor is a motorcycle engine revving up... irks me to NO end. Get outta my lullaby.
All in all, I regret nothing about choosing San Francisco and this apartment. It's home and it's mine and I love it. (Except maybe could it be a liiiiiiiiittle cheaper?)
Do you live in the city? Suburbs? Country? Are you in the US? Are you an apartment dweller with four roommates like me, or do you have a big ol' mansion to yourself? I vant to know your living situation!!