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Adopting in Ashburn

What began in France moved to Washington, DC and then the suburbs. Let the adventures in Ashburn continue.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Adventures in Househunting

For those of you who didn't know, I am moving again. The last move I made was a pretty good choice at the time, but after just a few months my apartment complex is raising my rent, so I'm moving on.

My first brilliant plan was to move in with a friend from high school. All was well until she accepted an internship instead of a job (better career wise, oddly) and found a place in her new price range much closer to AU, where she'll be doing her grad coursework. As her friend, there was no way I could frown on this, except this now left me roommate-less.

If you've never been on a serious budget in an urban housing market, you might not realize that having roommates is one of the best ways to defray costs. Sharing cable, phone, internet, heating and cooling alone can save someone in the ballpark of $120/month or $1,440/year - which is the equivalent of a months rent and two months utilities here. So, roommates are a must.

Plus, there is something nice about coming home to people instead of your television.

So, I started a search for roommates, because when I thought I had the other roommate, I had found a perfect little townhouse three blocks from work and 10 minutes from a Metro. It was a dream that would chop over $200 off my rent, give me a bit more space, and let me share with roommates which has emotional and economic benefits. Perfect.

To make this long tale a shorter one, a friend from grad school needed a roommate and we found each other through my away message. We interviewed potential candidates. I made an appointment with the landlord of the townhouse to show the "chosen" roommates the space and turn in their applications (mine was already in his sweaty little palms). For the first time, he stalled in getting back to me, which I assumed was because of the upcoming three day weekend.

In reality, he signed the lease with someone else at the beginning of this week after telling me to take my time finding roommates on Saturday. So now I have roommates and no place to live. And to top it all off, I've turned in my vacate notice to the place I'm in now. Fab-u-NOT.

I have been in a "tizzy" since then (my nice word for something bordering on hysterical anger and nervousness in manic depressive spurts). I saw a place last night. Saw two on my lunch break today. Two more appointments tomorrow AM. One Sunday afternoon. All townhouses, all relatively close to work, all requiring roommates I'm not sure I'll still have by the time I finally settle on a place. I have no idea if my friend from grad school still wants to search for a place with me, or if he was solely interested because the place was found.

My current apartment reflects my mental status, which is no good because I have extended family coming to visit tomorrow. My couch and room need to be completely cleaned because people need to be sleeping there. Ack!

To top off this wonderful week, I found out that the co-program director for HOBY has a terrible personal situation and will not be able to continue. Of course I understand and it can't be helped but we are four months from the conference with nothing but a lousy Excel chart and big ideas. I have to work in over-drive to make this happen. And, without ever having seen the space, I'm supposed to put together the program. By tonight. I can't make the trip down to Richmond, because with all the house hunting and application filling out appointments, I don't have a free weekend day to go.

Loyal readers know that last week I was worried about being challenged in my job. I was brave and took it up with my boss, who has been kind enough to ramp up my workload. Now. Which I LOVE. Which only goes to prove the old adage that when it rains, it pours.

I knew by slowing down for awhile that getting back into the swing of my true lifestyle (non-stop action, over-involved, yet totally exhilarated) would kick me hard. Maybe it is because part of the stress is about my actual living arrangement, or maybe because I have to prove to my boss that I can handle all the extra work I basically begged for - even though my non-work life has exploded with time commitments. It might be that if I don't figure out HOBY then 200+ Virginia high schoolers will miss out on an "outstanding" experience and get a mediocre one; or worse, I'll prove that the former organizers, who kept HOBY old-fashioned, could handle this better than the new young staff that took over.

And with all this talk about moving, I don't even know when I'll have a free weekend to do that! I want to move at the end of the month, but President's Day weekend is too soon since I'd have to pay double rent for half a month. The next weekend I'm stage managing the show at Janney. Then I have to be out of my apartment the following Friday. I can probably just take a day off from work - which would be easier than trying to shove a move into a weekend - but then who could help me move my stuff in the middle of a work day?

And I guess after I'm done cleaning up from my guests this weekend, I should think about starting to pack. *Very long sigh.*

The blessing is, of course, that I have Monday off to recuperate after all the insanity of the next 48 hours. And, as stressed as I sound, I'm actually in pretty good shape right now - this is just my venting mechanism.

I have a good job that finally makes me think. I have a place to live and a bunch of wonderful (hopefully) places to choose from. I have 40 days to find said place. There are HOBY alums all over the state who I can get to help me. I get to see my family and perhaps have my hair cut but my Aveda-trained cousin. Dana, though sick, is going to help me check out the places tomorrow. I will probably be able to get packing boxes from the local grocery store. And, I cleaned the kitchen last night which only leaves two rooms to clean up before tomorrow.

Now that I have sufficiently procrastinated, I'm going to clean up this disaster area, send off the work I managed to get done on HOBY, and get some sleep. You never realize how much sleep you need until you are missing it, so I don't intend on missing a wink.

Love always, ~Heather

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