Where you live is very important. It’s always been a big deal to me for a few different reasons.
The first stems from my mom. My mom was a single parent raising two daughters and for her where we lived was a top priority because she wanted us to be safe above all else. While supporting three people on one salary is hard, my mom did everything she could to give us the best.
There were cheaper places to live in less desirable neighborhoods but my mom didn’t go there. She didn’t because she knew how important a positive environment was and that just because you might of had less to work with it didn’t mean you couldn’t have nice things. She had one particular friend who was in a similar situation financially who would marvel at my mother’s ability to live in “nice places.” My mom wasn’t doing anything particularly revolutionary, she didn’t have a secret, she just had standards that she wasn’t willing to budge on and because of that she didn’t get to have all the luxuries she might have wanted for herself but my sister and I always felt safe and we had everything we needed. Thanks, mom!
Because of my mom I always knew that where you lived was important because it affected how you felt about yourself. When you work all day the last thing you want is to come home to a place that makes you feel anxious and insecure. Plus, since I’ve been an adult I’ve lived alone, especially as a woman, you can’t disregard the safety factor.
One Oprah quote I always think of is, “Your house should rise up to meet you.” So I think that at whatever stage you’re in in life, your home should be the one place in the world that provides solace, pride and comfort. It’s the one place you can truly control, so why not make it as awesome as possible?
So in choosing my next apartment I wanted to make sure that it fit all of my criteria. It had to be within walking distance, no, make that EASY walking distance, to BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit, the California version of the New York subway system) so that I could commute to my job in San Francisco and it couldn’t be a million years old. I once lived in an apartment I called “The 80′s Flashback” because the countertops were this old yellowy color and you couldn’t open the the oven door and the cabinet next to it at the same time. And it had ZERO guest parking and I could hear animals scurrying around on the roof, but it sounded like they were just inches above my head. Never again!
Anyway, I hit the jackpot with the 1-bedroom apartment I found in a city about 45 minutes east of San Francisco. It’s close to the BART station and it’s new, and by new I mean it’s only been around for a few years. They were originally built as condos but they didn’t sell so they began leasing them as apartments, which means that I’m getting granite countertops, a washer & dryer IN the unit, stainless steel appliances and more space. Also it’s located within ridiculously easy walking distance of restaurants, a movie theater and MOST IMPORTANTLY Starbucks.
Now if only they opened a live music venue nearby where all my favorite bands could play I would be in HEAVEN!
There are some drawbacks, of course. I won’t be as close to work as I would be if I lived in the City but living in San Francisco is not something that I ever want to do, and it doesn’t necessarily mean that I’d be able to get to work faster (I’ve heard stories of it taking people 45 minutes to get across San Francisco, a city that’s only 7-miles wide). Also finding a reasonably priced apartment in the City is insanity, and if you do it’s probably half the size of what I would get in the East Bay. Plus there’s a lot to be said for living in an area in which you feel comfortable and the East Bay area is where I grew up. It’s what I know and I am a fan of wide open spaces and suburbia and driving and malls. I’m definitely not a city mouse.
So in conclusion, I’m excited about moving into my new apartment. I’m excited to make a home that will rise up to meet me everyday. Because of an unfortunate experience with an employer two years ago I was forced to move in with my mom and put all my stuff in storage. I cannot tell you how ridiculously anxious I am to be reunited with my stuff. I don’t think this is materialistic, it’s mostly about being able to have things the way that I want them, being able to decorate and cook and just live my life the way I want to again. It’s going to be the best thing ever. I wouldn’t be surprised if I actually hugged my new apartment.