Tag Archives: apartment hunting

You may ask yourself, well, how did I get here?

So how did a fantastically successful high school teacher (stop laughing) from Orange County find herself living in suburban Connecticut? Well, I’m glad you asked… oh, you didn’t ask? And you’re still laughing about the “successful teacher” part… that’s not nice.

I gave the quick and dirty in my inaugural post… I’m not going to give every single detail of my life thus far here, but I need to give some appropriate context to my current situation. I guess this could get lengthy… you have been warned.

Since 2005, I have worked for my high school alma mater. I started off as a secretary in the counseling office and worked my way into the classroom, first as a sub and then as a full-fledged teacher. From the time I set foot back on that campus in 2005, I felt I belonged in education. Looking back, I think I was looking for comfort and familiarity after a disastrous post-grad stint in Los Angeles (worked a terrible cubicle media job and kept myself in a painfully dysfunctional relationship).

Anyway… I loved teaching from the beginning. I had this wide-eyed (and pretty naive) optimism about it. I felt I had the opportunity to foster some good in the world. It was pretty awesome. And I adored my students. But it was getting harder and harder to be John Keating… outside of the classroom nothing was working right and subconsciously this spilled into the classroom. I had known for a while that I needed a change and in the Spring of 2010, I started looking for opportunities.

First I thought I’d apply to Master’s programs in English… incorrectly thinking I would remain a teacher for life. I labored over my Christmas break in 2010 on my applications. In the meantime, I barely had it in me to return to my classes. When the rejection letters started coming in, part of me was relieved. I had been looking for any excuse to leave Orange County… but this wasn’t right.

By a series of happy accidents I came upon a post-baccalaureate program at Columbia University where I could focus on pop culture (WHAT?!)… I applied and got in. I had no desire to live in New York City… but I couldn’t turn down this chance (educationally and personally). And thus began the complicated task of moving 3000 miles away from all that had been familiar to me for the last 20 years… selling all that I own and saying goodbye…

Of course, things never go as planned. I had to defer my registration at Columbia until January because I couldn’t get any financial aid (still working on that now unfortunately). I wasn’t prepared for the full time job hunt and apartments are hard to come by when you are jobless.

So here I am… staying with my sister and her family in beautiful and peaceful Connecticut. I’m eternally grateful to them for allowing me to stay here while I get things settled, but I never thought it would take this long. On a recent trip into the city (New York, that is… and it’s only 2.5 hours away by train), I had a moment of empowered clarity… I knew that I belonged there. It felt right. With so many questions left unanswered, it was nice to have some certainty. So now I’m stuck in limbo… all that I want is so close, but it feels very far away. It feels like I’ve been waiting for years for my life to start… but I have to wait just a little bit longer.

So is there more to this whole story of my life (la la la la)? Sure… but this is all you’re going to get for now…

Blog title song: “Once in a Lifetime” by Talking Heads


Hey, little girl, comb your hair, fix your make-up

Foreword (yes, this blog gets a Foreword): I know I owe more of an explanation as to my current state of things, but like my new life in NYC …that’s just going to have to wait.

I’m sure it has been said before, but job/apartment hunting is a lot like dating… and I could even take that a step further to say online dating.

I am currently on a massive job/apartment hunt and it is no less than exhausting / frustrating / infuriating / disheartening / annoying. Each day I wake up between 7:45-8am and spend the majority of the day combing the internet for job opportunities. If I find a really interesting opportunity, I will spend half the day agonizingly tweaking my resume and cover letter to hopefully suit the needs of the discerning prospective employer. (Are you with me here?)

Recently, my sister helped me shop for a great interview outfit. I thought about how to accessorize said outfit… which purse would I bring… how I would wear my hair… how I could make a great first impression. (Still with me?)

In between job queries are Craigslist searches for apartments. I have a routine – I look for rooms in apartments that accept dogs; I plug in my budget price; I search for places in my favorite neighborhoods. When these searches come up short, I start altering my standards slightly… I guess I could live in Harlem; sure the building is nasty, but the neighborhood is cute. (I didn’t lose you, did I?)

And then there are the inquiries I send out to prospective roommates. I recently found the perfect apartment in the perfect location. The girl who lived there seemed like someone I would get along with. The place was cute. AND she liked dogs. So of course, I quickly sent her an e-mail. And then I waited. And waited. I never heard anything back. Did I come off as too strong in my e-mail? Was I not what she was looking for? Should I not have sent a picture? (OK, if you don’t get it now, I can’t help you.)

Job applications are the same. I wait for the phone to ring… and it never does.

Perhaps I am over-sensitive as a thirty-(ahem) year old single gal (yes, gal). Or maybe I just have too many life issues up in the air… either way, limbo sucks and job/apartment hunting is a lot like dating.

 

Blog title song: “Wives and Lovers” by Jack Jones


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