Last Saturday Nikelle and I went apartment hunting. I've been living with my Aunty in Taylorsville since mid-October. Previous to that I was in "the Mansion" squatting and a month before that in California, being suckered into a non-existent fairy tale, and before that, I can't even remember. Provo seems like an entire other life that barely may not have really existed. Nikelle has been living at her sisters in Bountiful. We both work downtown and needless to say, even though we greatly appreciate our awesome families for letting us crash with them in our shambled, jobless at the time, completely poverty ridden lives, you can only live on families good graces for so long. I mean, even family love has SOME limits. Ha! Not to mention - we're both way to old for this crap.
So we went apartment hunting on Saturday. We've both barely found new jobs and only been getting paychecks for a little over a month now. I hit ZERO moneys back in August, and trying to build yourself up again from nothing is a rather trying pursuit. I'm going to go ahead and say that's putting it lightly - extremely lightly - we're taking "I Can't Believe it's not Butter" lightly.
We've been trying to save some money, but again, trying to build completely from the ground up takes time - a lot of time - a lot of saving - and a lot of patience. Come to find we can't afford to move out. It's too expensive for our meager budgets still. But, we can't stay where we're at anymore either. So what do we do? I will tell you what we do...
We move to The Den of Rape. I heard you gasp. As you SHOULD! The Den of Rape doesn't sound good at all does it? Though when I came up with it I thought it was rather clever. I now just call it "The Den" (mostly for my mother's sake). Let me explain to you why I call it that. It's funny - in a so not funny and a little scary kind of way. Our friend John has a small studio in Downtown SLC. I mean studio's are small anyway right? But this thing is teeny. Perfect for a half person - and perhaps a whole person if you are a man and don't come with a lot of "stuff." John would like to rid himself of this studio - however - his lease is not up until April. Also, John's little studio's location is a little...oh what can you call it....schmarmy. Or at least schmarmier than any place Nik and I have ever lived. As females you have to automatically discount certain areas or apartment complexes for your own good. Just by the LOOKS of 'em - or their relative location to local 7-11's. Thus, you end up always paying a little more to feel comfortable. The sorry truth is, neither Nik nor myself have "a little more..." in fact we have less than "a little" usually tipping into practically nothing. However, as our time at family's abodes runs out, but our financial means isn't quite where it needs to be to afford monthly rent AND a deposit, we are taking over John's teeny studio in schmarmy land - across from a 7-11 - for an undisclosed amount of time. You heard me right - we're BOTH moving in - to a studio. Us, two twin beds, one TV, a kitchen and a bath. The Den of Rape.
Nik and I are used to sharing a room. We've shared a room as roomies for years - and though we had a glorious stint where we each had our own room for awhile - that was a mere passing fancy. We've digressed - and not even back to "poor student" status but "living in poverty in a tiny studio with creepers" status. Really, it follows the "shambles" pattern both of our lives have morphed into. You will often hear us asking such questions as: "Why did I get a degree again?" or "What's the point of working 40 hours and still having nothing?" or even more important, "Why did I take out student loans to get an education under the guise of being able to pay them off when I was employed at my "you must have a degree" job that pays well?" Caaaaaause, we're wondering that pretty frequently right about now.
Education in valuable - and I think everyone should get a degree. Most people don't end up like us - sharing a shabby studio near 7-11's. So luckily (luckily?) we are the exception to the rule. I have decided to go back to school in August to get my MPA - Masters in Public Adminstration. And I'm doing it for the money. That's right! I know I'll enjoy it and it's something I'll be good at - but I'm not going to 1. Live like this anymore and education plus experience is the only way to increase m value and 2. Hope that I might have the incredible blessing of adding a second income to my own in the near future...cause I've somewhat given up on THAT too, for now. Another post for another time...carrying on...
What's really awesome though - is even if we found an apartment - I sold all our FANTASTIC furniture because I was GOING TO EUROPE for a year. Not only is all my furniture gone - but all my kitchen supplies, my bed, lots of clothes, everything. I've been living out of my suitcase since the end of July, and I'm about to zip them up again and move to yet another less than desirable location where I will continue to live out of my suitcase for who knows how much longer. I will admit it's rather convenient though. Zip zip and I'm off. Not exactly the romantic gypsy lifestyle I'd envisioned - but gypsy-esque none the less.
Sometimes, it takes awhile for things to really hit me. They have to ruminate for a time, slosh around and feel itself out before I can find some sort of emotional response. I also tend to keep a stiff upper lip for a long time - convincing myself that all will be well, it can't go on like this forever, and it really can't get much worse. That helps - but only for so long. It's hard to lift yourself up with your own bootstraps when you haven't even the boots. When Europe fell through, though it really sucked, I was okay at first. I thought things would work out - and I will move on. My friend Steve was able to fall right back in step - and it really encouraged me because I thought I would fall back in step too, eventually. But to be frank, things are far far FAR worse than before Europe came around - and that little risky venture has plunged me MUCH further into things it was supposed to save me from. I've never felt bitter or angry at the situation - because I believe these things happen for a reason - but I finally felt some serious anger towards Bob tonight. I'd never felt that before - but tonight - as sometimes things hit us when we're already down - I was pretty annoyed. We've not heard from him in over two months, and I know we'll never hear from him again, but I just don't think he ever understood exactly what we gave up. Literally everything. And in the end - I feel like I have negative everything, and not just the material.
Now that I've been living with these consequences for awhile - it's starting to wear on me a little more. I'm getting tired, ya know? The ONLY redeeming thing that keeps me trucking is my fantastic job. I really enjoy it. And though I'm not making an amazing amount of money, I feel good there. I feel comfortable. I feel like I'm part of something. And it's given me educational opportunities that otherwise I was unsure of. THAT - in and of itself turns some of these sucky moldy and constantly reappearing life lemons into a swallow of lemonade. A spoonful of sugar. I just sure hope the rest of those sour suckers turn themselves into juice soon. The Den of Rape is pretty far from resembling any sort of lemonade.