We went down to the edge of the water,
You were afraid to go in.
You said there might be sharks out there in the ocean,
And I said I’m only going for a swim
I awoke Monday morning with something gnawing in my guts. Assuming it wasn’t a tapeworm or other types of parasitic organisms, I rubbed the sleep out of my eyes as I tried to ascertain why, exactly, I was panicking.
And while I don’t particularly care for Monday’s one way or another, I remembered it was D-Day. The day in which I would tour the apartment complex I had once lived, many lifetimes ago. Sweetly nestled into the banks of the Fox River, surrounded by trees and flowers, the park within walking distance, I knew that if I was going to move out – to create a sanctuary for myself – it would be to this complex. Having lived in the area since I was five, I knew which apartments were good and which were not. These, it turns out, were the best in the area. A quick 3 minute jump across the river from my house, I knew that this was to be my next step.
However, I was still scared shitless.
Never having lived alone before; knowing that I’d be able to make rent as well as keep up on things like “the phone bill,” well, no one said I was born with great common sense. See also my old phone:
(Enlarged to show the AWESOME)
Visibly shaking like an overgrown Chihuahua, I waited for my appointment at 1:30 to tour the property and see how small this unit truly was (answer: not too shabby). I chattered on like I do when I’m nervous to the lady who was showing me the property, explaining that I was going through a divorce and moving out. I fist-bumped myself when I realized I’d only cried once. It was like some kind of record for me.
Back in the manager’s office, I began the arduous task of filling out a mountain of paperwork. It was then that I realized how lazy I’d gotten – I was so accustomed to TYPING that trying to write by hand with my awesome fireworks blister on my index finger on my right hand made my penmanship look as though I’d filled out the application with my toes.
I was all, “Damn, I’m good at filling out shit. Lookit ME knowing the answers and stuff! I should win an award of AWESOMENESS for my right answers! I bet they’ll give me the apartment just for my awesome answers!”
Until I got to That Page.
The one that asks you about your employment history.
I slumped in my chair.
While I do have my own company and a sparkly shiny name for it, I’ve always operated at a total loss – it’s hard to show paystubs when you’re a freelancer who occasionally gets paid by PayPal.
Before that, I was a stay-at-home parent.
I asked the kind lady with sweet eyes what I should do.
“Hmmmm,” she said, thinking. “Can you get a letter from someone saying they’ll vouch for you and pay your rent if you’re short?”
“Yep,” I said, figuring that I’d be able to ask one or two people to help me out by signing a silly piece of paper. If I came up short on rent, I’d rather take out a Craig’s List “fifty dollars a hand-i-job” listing to make up for any amounts I’d be missing* than ask these people for the money. I’m stubborn and my pride often gets me in trouble – which is why I so rarely ask for help. While I *know* what can happen; the scary shit out there, I am no mermaid. I’ve lived a fearful life a long-ass time, and figured that taking this plunge; this path, would help with other stuff along the way. You know, “if” “then” equations?
The two people who I asked to sign a stupid piece of paper – not a cosigner, I should add – didn’t quite feel comfortable doing it. They each had their reasons, most of which boiled down to, “we don’t trust that you’ll make your rent.”
Now, I understand the reasoning and that I can be classified as a risk, but I took their (in)actions to heart – maybe I really wasn’t ready for this. Maybe this was a BAD idea. Maybe I’d not be able to make it on my own. Fear took over and I began the process of doubting everything from my ability to wipe my ass to whether or not I’d forget to pay the electric bill.
Monday was an ugly day.
Tuesday morning, I awoke, dropped off some more stuff at the apartment rental office and headed out to therapy. I’d given it my level best, and if this wasn’t the path I was to take, well, I’d find another way somehow. It was entirely up to me, a both terrifying and awesome feeling.
I explained how I was feeling to my therapist, who promptly asked, “why are you basing your self-worth on those people?”
“I don’t know. Honestly, I don’t,” I replied.
But it reminded me of the girl I used to be – the girl who took risks, said, “fuck it, why not?” and didn’t give a shit about whether or not someone approved of her actions. That’s the girl I was. That’s the girl I will be. That’s the girl I am. I may be scared shitless, but I am still that girl.
I know this because this morning, at ass-early o’clock, I got a phone call from the apartment complex.
I have an apartment.
I can do this. I know I can.
If, for no other reason than I love being able to prove motherfuckers WRONG.
I may be living on the river, but I am no mermaid.
Not when I have my army of Pranksters behind me.