I'll be honest with you. I'm a little nervous right now. I'm feeling some serious PTSD about my impending move. Yes... another one. But this one is to MY home. Mine. No other adult's name will be on the lease. And that freaks me out just a little.
Rewind a week and a half. Back to when I was still all giddy about finding my dream home.
On my way back from LA on Saturday morning, I decided to meander through a neighborhood looking for rentals...
No, wait. I need to go back further than that.
A few weeks ago, back when I was still thirty-something, I had coffee with a friend, Jennifer. We got to talking about life and all the great stuff that's in store. That was the river, this is the sea, remember? Well, the original reason we met for coffee was because I needed her help. She and her husband own a super cool furniture store in La Jolla called My Own Space (aka mos). I told her I needed help envisioning my future space but I wasn't quite sure how to break away from the traditional look I've been suffocating in for so many years. After coffee, she sent me home with an armload of industry rags that were filled with furniture I loved but would never have picked out. I spent the next few hours going through the pictures and finally pulled together some pages of rooms that I really got excited about living in. I put the pictures on my vision board and began to start picturing myself sitting on the funky green chairs, reading a book under that cool orange lamp, watching whimsical birds in still flight on a wall.
Okay, now scootch forward to the Saturday morning after LA.
So, I'm meandering through the neighborhoods... when all of a sudden, I come across the cutest little yellow and white cottage with a "For Rent" sign. I've always wanted a yellow house with white trim, but I've never actually seen one that's available! I really couldn't believe my luck. I took a picture of the house and the number on the sign and started the drive home. I pulled over a couple of times to look at the picture. I just kept envisioning myself in that yellow and white house, wondering if it wasn't just meant to be.
A few minutes into the drive, I couldn't take it anymore. I called to get some information on the house. Turns out, it was in my price range and available very soon. The owner wanted to know if I was able to see it that afternoon. As much as I wanted to just take a nap from our all-nighter up in LA, I figured I better get over there just in case there's a lot of interest in it. We got back to my mom's, rested for a moment, then got back into the car and returned to the rental.
When we arrived, there were two other couples checking it out. Damn... DINKS!! Double Income, No Kids. The kiss of death to a single mom with two kids. How was I going to compete with those applicants? I almost turned the car back on and headed home, but the kids nagged me into going in to take a look. They were falling in love with the tree in the yard. I didn't have the heart to say no.
We walked right back into the 70s.
The cottage is one of those old places that you'd call "charming" because it's cute (read: small) with the quirks of time like warped floors and doors that don't close properly. Still, it was the perfect size for the three of us, and as soon as I walked in, I could completely picture the pages from the magazines that I had taped to my vision board. The green chairs could go over there. That wall over there would be where the book cases would go. The birds would be painted on this wall over here...
I could already picture myself living in it!
Even with all that, I almost didn't turn in an application. I had disqualified myself by thinking that they would probably prefer the couples with two incomes. I left the application blank on my desk for another day. But I kept seeing the pictures of the living spaces I was dreaming of and decided, what the heck? My world wouldn't come crashing down if they said no, right? A couple of nights later, I was sitting in their kitchen, handing over my security deposit check and hugging my new landlords. They told me that they just wanted to find someone that would love the house as if it was theirs and they felt like I was that person. I assured them I was and promised them I would treat the home as my own. As we drove out of their driveway, I let out a huge scream of raw joy. My daughter told me that the landlord heard me. I turned to see him laughing.
Well, at least he knows we're excitable!
So now here I am. A week and a half after meandering through a neighborhood and coming across my dream cottage. I'm excited about living in it. I'm thrilled that we are going to be so close to the beach. I can't wait to get our cruisers out and ride down Coast Highway. I'm just worried about moving and getting furniture to sit in and all the other realities. But I keep reminding myself to just relax and not worry so much. I know that things always have a way of working themselves out when I can keep envisioning my dreams... especially the small and "charming" ones.
The Sugar Shack