Yesterday, John and I went for a run in our new neighborhood. We went down our street then took a detour through the hills and gawked at the fancy homes. From an overlook, we could see downtown in the hazy distance and the Hollywood sign nearby. Later, we walked to Trader Joe’s. WALKED. Less than a third of a mile from our Silver Lake apartment.
Almost one month exactly after leaving home in Baltimore, we found our new home in Los Angeles. The search was not without a lot of stress, anxiety, and heartache. We looked at no less than 30 apartments. Some of them were adorable on the inside, as long as you could ignore the sketchy trash- and graffiti-ridden street. Others were advertised as “amazing,” “beautiful,” and “charming”—words thrown around very loosely on Craigslist—only for us to arrive and walk around a dirty unit with crumbling floors and pee in the toilet. Then, there were the two or three apartments we had our hearts set on but were scooped up by other applicants. Did I question this move? Yep. Did I want to cut my financial losses and move back home? I thought about it. Did everything work out the way it was supposed to? Yes. All around, it was a pretty important lesson on faith and positivity, because now that we’re finally feeling settled in the new place, I feel a lot more optimistic about our ongoing job searches.
L.A. is a rough city. I knew that before coming here, but only in a vague, abstract sort of way. No matter how hard you study the map trying to understand where all the neighborhoods are in relation to one other, you can’t see the distinctions between safe and unsafe. Between gritty and golden. Between gentrification and bitterness. Once on the ground, we figured out very quickly where we did and didn’t want to live. Silver Lake—a neighborhood famous for its vintage shops, rolling hills, and thriving arts scene—was at the top of our list. And I’m so thankful we found this gem in our budget.
We still have a lot to do. The job search is proving to be nearly as difficult as finding an apartment was, and we’ll be receiving bills in the mail before long. Orientation for grad school starts tomorrow and I’ll soon be on a crazy schedule. But if we could make it through all the ups and downs of the past month while technically homeless, we can navigate the next steps just fine. Keep you posted, as usual.