Making The Most of My Horrible Housing Shituation

I’ve spent most of my time over the past month either hunting for a place to live, evaluating if I should buy a house, streaming, or writing. And, you know, working, sleeping, eating, commuting, etc. I’ve pretty much buttoned up every hour of my day and while it can feel exhausting to be doing something constantly, it nice to be on my grind again. I like having stuff to do and, until this month, didn’t have the mental energy to push myself to get anything done beyond what absolutely NEEDED to be done. Now, after the my trip and subsequent recovery, I’m feeling pretty primed for action. Most of the time, anyway.

Last week brought a pretty significant change to my apartment hunting process. The person I’d lined up to be my roommate, someone who also wanted to save some money even if they were more alright with living alone than I am, wound up going with one of the places we looked at that rejected me. It was a nice enough place from what I saw, but the landlady’s initial willingness to bend their “no pets” policy for my bird eventually vanished (and by “eventually” I mean in an incredibly cold email not even two hours later). So now they’re going to live there and I am back to square one because, earlier that same day, all of the places I’d started lining up as backups fell through in spectacular fashion. Until this year, I hadn’t ever encountered an apartment listing that did not mention the incredible important fact that it was low-income housing somewhere. It wasn’t even on the websites I looked at! I only found out about them because I got fed up of waiting for replies and started calling places. So now I’m back to hunting for a place to live and I’ve got no leads on a place I can easily afford. Just a ton of places that I could scrape by in.

Which means I’m now thinking about comfort and ways to find joy in my new home, rather than trying to find something for less money than I’m spending now (everything even remotely decent-looking for less money has turned out to be some kind of low-income housing). It’s a very different criteria, which I’m still not super comfortable with, but its all I’ve got. If I’m going to have to pay another two to four hundred bucks a month in rent, I might as well try to find a place that will make me feel comfortable and at home. I’m mostly still looking for places that don’t have other people living above them, since that’s now a major factor in my personal comfort, but I’m also trying to find places with vaulted ceilings, plenty of rooms, and in-unit laundry machines. Sure, I’m not exactly stoked about most of it, since this is an expense I’ll be unable to avoid or reduce any time soon, but I’m doing my best to make peace with the reality I find myself in.

It has been a frustrating experience all around. I don’t know if I’ll be able to find a place that I will be satisfied with or if I’ll just wind up in another place that will be good enough for now since I do need to live somewhere and I couldn’t find anything that fit what I wanted. The past three years (almost) of living in my current apartment have been a lesson in the building dissatisfaction that comes from making such a choice, so I’d really like to make a positive change rather than another negative or neutral one. I don’t know that I’ll be able to do that, since most of what makes a home positive to me is my ability to host people (and there aren’t a lot of people left in the area for me to host these days), but I’m going to do my best. Maybe I’ll even find a plce where I can set up a small streaming/recording closet so I can improve my audio quality. It would be fun to have a little booth for my gaming and whatnot. Or maybe a bigger booth that’s also got all my console gaming stuff as well so I can do more than what my janky little sideways setup allows now. There’s a lot of potential for positive change, it’s just also going to need to outweight the increased cost of wherever I wind up living. Which, you know, feels less and less likely as time goes on.

I used to have a little reading nook, two apartments ago, since my closet was just big enough for me to stick my armchair and a little bookshelf in. That became my spot for all my new books, my to-be-read shelf, and where I’d go to be quiet and calm. It was nice. I miss having a space like that. My current apartment is all big, open spaces that I’ve had to sort of oddly fill in with furniture, scattered shelving, and rugs (since the floor was one of the biggest heat-thieves in my apartment). It would be nice to have more small, cozy spaces tucked away somewhere from all the big, open ones. Too bad most apartments here are characterless rectangles or so expensive that I need two roommates to even think about affording them.

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