• jocelynaryder

The New Digs

Do I Deserve A Home?

January 24, 2020

I found a place to live!! Interestingly, a friend suggested the place, and I was resistant at first. Would I be OK living with someone again? What if I freak out? What if she freaks out? But here’s the really great thing about it: I’ll be moving in with my next-door neighbor. So, even though I’ll be living in a new place, it will be very familiar, the person is known to me, and we’ve always gotten along.

The community I live in is a development of townhouses, and I will be living in the mirror-image floor plan of my current home. My neighbor is a retired person who gets out to the ballet, lectures, and theatre all the time. Her personal trainer comes by twice a week, and I named my own rent price. I’ll only pay for utilities if they get high. There’s a house cleaner that comes once a week. And I will have everything in that house that I have in this one, including private space that is not my bedroom—as my neighbor is ready to give up the space of her former dining room. My neighbor’s excited to have me live with her, and equally excited to have my dog in her home.

This is privilege. Because I am a nice, white, middle-aged person, culturally similar to my neighbors, I have no applecart to upset. I’ve also been a good neighbor to these folks, and they are happy for me to stay around. I am grateful I’ll be able to take my dog on the same walks, swim in the pool during summer, and generally enjoy the quiet of the area. What better way to get well than living in a familiar, comfortable space?

This is also beggars can’t be choosers. I don’t truly have options. This process has been a narrowing down of what is financially possible. I am scared I won’t get along with my new roommate, and that I’ll have to deal with anxiety while I’m trying to sleep. I wanted to have my own space, which I’d be able to design as I like. My neighbor has some memory issues I am scared about navigating. But the thing that sent me over the line to yes is my neighbor’s daughter. A. lives in SoCal. We’ve chatted a few times when she’s been up to visit. Turns out we have some significant life-paths in common. And I’ve always loved the fact that she has a Firefly-inspired SERENITY bumper sticker. A. was excited about me moving in with her mom, and is grateful that someone will be in the house in case her mom has a fall or something. Knowing that I would be happily welcomed in the house, I agreed to move in.

I am delighted that this will mean a clean transition with Landlord Friend back to Regular Friend. We’ll spend next week together working in the house, and I’m looking forward to that.

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