Monday, January 17, 2011

The Search That Never Ends (Or So it Seemed)

The question now, is where to start looking?
House hunting as post-grad (or apartment hunting, as the case may be) is not like any TV show I've ever seen. There is no sweeping introduction music, perfectly-timed transitions from one location to another and DEFINITELY no expert with all the answers to your questions. House Hunters International is one my favorite lazy-Saturday morning shows but did it teach me anything about the amount of hard work and stress involved in finding a place to live as a recent college graduate? That would be a no.

I still often daydream of an overseas location to someday call home, but moving to and working in San Francisco has required an amount of hard work not usually found in daydreams (my apologies to any extreme-daydreamers that may unintentionally offend).  The last couple of months have been comprised of a housing search I never thought would end. My journey is far from over, but these recent challenges have reminded me that what you're looking for is usually right in front of you.

Since I've moved into the city, I've been lucky enough to have the support of some amazing people, without whose generosity I would be left floundering. Each and and every person has been crucial to finding my balance and getting situated into a new environment. Despite not having an actual bed to sleep in the last two months, I wouldn't trade the nights on a couch or mattress pad for anything. It has reminded me quite a bit of being a traveler in a foreign country again, where everything changes from one day to the next and you're never completely sure what might happen. It's an enriching and beautiful reality to be living, to say the least.

Eventually there will be a view worth keeping
That being said, I have been actively searching for my own place to call home. I'm eager to show San Francisco that I can handle any curveball it throws my way--starting with putting the "home" into homerun. Of course, these goals are always easier said than done. 

I started my apartment search with a location only a stone's throw from my current residence. It seemed to have everything I was looking for (including an ideal price range), but I was afraid to settle for the first "perfect" thing. With so many other places to look at and consider, it made more sense to me not to say yes to the first place. So began the search that took me from neighborhood to neighborhood across the city, until I finally reached the point this last weekend where I was growing desperate. Such is the case when you're on a serious time-crunch to move.

Like all stories, though, where "everything happens for a reason" this one finishes in the same vein. On a whim, I ended up getting back into contact with the very first place I had looked at--it was still available and my instincts were shouting that this was where I was meant to be. I made this very clear to the landlord and I am now in the process of finalizing official lease details.

So was it silly do all that searching and stress myself out day after day? I don't think so. It was a good lesson in trusting my instincts, gave me the opportunity to see new parts of the city and reaffirmed my belief in the power of retrospect. You never really see that what you might be looking for, or what you actually need, is right in front of you until after the experience has passed. That's the best part about it, though, and gives us a deeper appreciation for every challenge overcome.

Every day is a search for something---whether it's for an apartment , a new job or simply a fresh start to life --there's no saying when it might end or if it ever really does. The best advice I can give is to enjoy it while it lasts. You just might be surprised at how much you look back on the memories and realize life never would have been the same without them.