Ready for a Change
Lately I've been getting this feeling of anxiousness. I wouldn't even call it anxiety, more like "ants in my pants," as Alex would put it. Maybe it's the feeling that fall is creeping in (though you wouldn't be able to tell by the hundred degree weather we've had this week), but I'm just feeling eager for a change.
Alex and I are coming up on our four year anniversary of moving to LA and soon after that, our three year apartment-iversary. When we moved into the place we now live in, we vowed we'd never move unless we bought something. This semi-detached bungalow was our dream apartment when we moved in. It's where we planned our wedding, brought our adopted dog home to, returned to from our honeymoon, and where I started both my businesses. It's full of closets and 1950s charm. So much has happened here, and it would feel so strange to not live here anymore, but I'm starting to feel closed in my apartment-style living. Mostly, I'd have to say, it's the inconvenience of carrying our laundry out to the back of the building that prevents it from getting done as often as it should; and our lack of dishwasher has probably lead to more fights than any other one thing in our marriage.
I remember when my oldest sister got married, being so confused why they didn't run out and buy a house the second they returned from their honeymoon. I assumed that it was what was done. But, were almost two years deep, and a house does not seem any closer than it was when Alex proposed to me on that sweltering Philadelphia afternoon.
But I find myself longing for picket fences, vegetable boxes, a lawn for Bucket to run on. I want walls I'm allowed to paper, paint, or knock down. I'm not asking for walk-in closets or more than one bathroom. I could live in a fixer, just as long as I could call it mine.
This feeling that I'm still a drifter, not really attached to this city, makes it hard to connect to those around me. Knowing that my roots aren't put down gives me the sense that we could, at any moment, pick up and move to Nashville, Montana, or any of the other places we keep threatening we'll head off to.
But we're here. Alex's career depends on Los Angeles. While Married & Bright could work from almost anywhere, if I want to continue working as a wedding planner, I've got to stay here in LA, too. So, we're here. This is where we are.
But how do we make it feel more like home?
Alex and I have agreed that it's time to start looking for it. We've made a commitment to one another — and I'm hoping by putting it here, I will be held accountable — to get pre-approved for a loan by the end of this month, and then spend the next year looking for the right place to make a purchase.
While we love living in Sherman Oaks, we can't afford to stay if we aren't renting. So places like Eagle Rock, Highland Park, Mount Washington, Glassell Park, Pasadena, Alta Dena, Winnetka, and Woodland Hills seem like they might be the spot. Los Angeles is full of interesting neighborhoods, but living out in the Valley has left us comfortable, but restricted. We really don't know much about the place that surround us. So, it's time to explore.
EDIT: I drafted this post on Friday evening before heading into a double wedding weekend. On Sunday, while I working a wedding, Alex decided to take the day off and relax. His relaxation turned into online house-hunting. Which somehow lead him on a cross-country search for the most affordable, cute house, with acreage, room for a recording studio, and close to a musical hub. Guess where he found a match? Yup, Nashville.
Alex and I always half joke about running off to Nashville because we sometimes feel we missed our shot at southern living when we drove through on our road trip to Los Angeles. So, when he texted me during my dinner break, saying "I wanna move to Nashville!" I was like, "Okay, honey." And sort of left it at that.
But when I got home last night, we sat up in bed for almost four hours (!!) looking at homes on his iPad, talking about making big life changes, and dreaming of a little house with a lot of land and a slower pace of life.
I thought that beginning a house search in Los Angeles would remove the ants from my pants, but it looks like no, I had to be infected with this idea of living where there are seasons, cowboy boots, and lots of cornbread.
So maybe, forget the thing I said about how Alex has to stay in LA for work. And how I'd be okay with just one bathroom.
Sigh... I don't know if we'll ever figure this thing out!