After nearly 10 years of living in Alex’s bachelor pad, we moved to a lovely house in the suburbs of Los Angeles also known as the valley.
Ever since we started dating, and I first came to his apartment, I hated it. It was a typical old, 1980’s apartment, decorated with old lady paintings. I later found out those old lady paintings where painted by his grandmother. Foot in mouth disease runs deep with me.
After dating 10 months, knowing we would get married, (and by knowing I mean harassing him to propose) he convinced me to move in with him. I had always said I would never live with someone before at least being engaged.
That November we were set to go to see my family in NY. We got engaged the day before Thanksgiving. Two weeks later I moved into the apartment I hated. He assured me it would be short term, short term became 8.5 years.
Oh, the letdown . . .
Life happens. I know that now. The apartment was fine, nothing fancy, the rent was was good for the area. I never let Alex forget how much I wanted to move, how much the apartment sucked, how much I wanted a place we moved into together.
After eight and a half years, so much had taken place while we lived in that apartment; we got married, grew our family, had failures, enjoyed successes, loved ones passed away, had many celebrations, etc.
In recent years, I stopped nagging about wanting to move as much as I had and enjoyed our time there. We lived in walking distance of restaurants, coffee shops, hikes, our friends, etc. which made living there more tolerable. Plus, my support system that I first met when Dylan was 7 weeks old all lived within a 10 minute drive from each other.
I would dream about living in a house with a backyard, a place where we could spread out, where we could entertain again. I have always loved entertaining but our apartment became cramped. It felt like the walls were closing in on me at times, that we stopped having people over all together.
Every once in awhile, we would check Zillow to see where home prices were in the town adjacent to where we were living. The prices started to skyrocket. Last I checked they were going for about $1.6 million for 2 bedroom 2 bathrooms if you were lucky. There was no way we would ever be able to afford that. We started to give up on living in a house and started to come to terms with apartment living forever. argh.
Then, Dylan was waitlisted from every school we hoped she would get into for kindergarten. The school we were zoned for was a 3 out of 10. I started looking in the “dreaded” valley. It turned out almost every school was rated above a 7 there. That made our decision fairly easy. Dylan’s education was the most important thing. If we could get her into a much better school in the suburbs, they would we would have to move. Within 4 weeks of deciding we would move, we had a signed lease.
It all happened fast. I was quite emotional about the move. Thinking about leaving our home, our neighborhood, our friends. I would just start crying thinking about what we were leaving. The 4 weeks leading up to the move was a roller coaster of emotions.
It’s funny how you can dislike something for years, when it’s being taken away you realize how much it meant to you.
We moved, the day before my 40th birthday.
And all the emotional roller coaster ended. I realized I was being very silly. Yes, things were going to change, I would not see our friends as often, but that would be ok. This house, the ‘burbs is what we needed. I think it’s what we needed.
It’s only been a month, I can tell we are all happier even Zoe, our cat. The kids love playing in the backyard, eating dinner Al Fresco, running through the sprinklers, going to the community pool, et. The space feels so freeing, more than I thought it would. I had not realized how much we ALL needed it.
Moving is one of the top three most stressful things you can go through in your life. I learned;
- Take it all in stride, take a moment to take everything in around you.
- Remember everything comes in phases, it too will pass.
- Packing is never ending but it will all get done.
- Change is not the worst thing, often it’s better than you ever imagined, and if not you can always make another change.
- Good friends will make an effort to see you no matter where you move.
The biggest thing is I learned, when dealing with a move like this is making sure your family is happy, safe, and are adjusting, everything else will fall into place.
Out of everyone in our family, I have adjusted the best so far. Dylan misses our apartment and her room. Her room in the new house isn’t as decorated as it as in the apartment. We are getting there. Alex feels like we are in the country since there is nothing in walking distance. This charming neighborhood we fell into, reminds me of NJ which helped me adjust.
I would love to know how you deal with a stressful life event. Tips you could share?