All Articles Tagged "moving in"
By Erica RivaFlowz Buddington
I’ve been there. I’ve walked through my suburban town agitated by it’s smallness and thought, “I need to get the heck up out of here.” Sidney Shaw taunted me with her brownstone in “Brown Sugar” and the depiction of rain and passion mixed in Chicago’s urban terrain had me yearning to get my “Love Jones” on. Tapas bars, jazz clubs, underground hip-hop shows, networking, after work mixers; I knew there was a wanna-be-socialite heaven in one of United States’ big cities waiting for me.
I was born in Flatbush, Brooklyn. Unfortunately, I wasn’t raised there. I was uprooted at nine for a chance at better schools. My family and I moved to Long Island, NYC’s suburban area. Immersed in small town gossip and quiet, I yearned for the hustle and bustle of the big city.
Two nights ago, I finally moved back. After tenure at a college in silent Virginia and a bout back home with the parental units, I finally have something within New York City to call my own.
While flipping through the blogs of friends of friends, I’ve noticed a common yearning amongst us. It seems I’m not the only one who wants bright lights, skyscrapers and the metro. I witnessed a multitude of womanly words yearning for their day in Atlanta, Houston, L.A., Chi-town and many other resemblances of the big city. So here’s how:
1. You should start saving. Some people have this illusion that the minute you step on the pavement of the big city, fame and fortune will come to you and record labels, publishers or their new corporate job will take care of the rest. Nope, not at all. Create a budget projecting how much you’ll need to spend each month, make each month and save each month. Start off with a savings of about $3,000-5,000; this will help when fending off rental broker fees, hunger pains and tips for overeager food deliverymen.
2. You’ll need a secured gig. This economy is no joke and even if we were still in the Clinton era, you’d still need a job the minute you get here. Unless you have family/friends that are willing to let you sleep on their couch or in the guest bedroom; don’t speed here to start looking for a job the next morning. Even with a start off fund, you’ll need a gig to keep your head above water. Shoot freelance queries to blogs/publications for some extra side money, apply for certification if you’re taking the substitute/teacher route, find internships and/or find something that’ll keep the lights on until you’re discovered.
3. Don’t wait to be discovered. While keeping the lights on, make serious connections. There are plenty of conferences, events, rare bookstores, open mic spots and more in metropolitan areas. Your kind dwells here. Just look for someone with your attire, a Starbucks cup in hand and goals written all over their face. Networking and surrounding yourself with positive ambition oriented persons is the one of the fastest routes to the top.
4. Pick your borough. I have a friend from Iowa who loves Fat Joe and decided, from a few rap lyrics, she was going to move to the Bronx, New York for her big move. The problem is, she works in Queens. Regretfully, she does a 2-4 hour commute back and forth to work everyday. Use Google maps to find the distance from your desired borough, check out the train/car routes to get there and make sure it’s conducive to your agenda. Come visit before you sign any leases or make any promises! Make sure the spot you’ve chosen is right for you.
5. Go get your spot. Ha! Rentals in big cities can go anywhere from $1,500 to a cool hundred grand. I don’t think so. Unless you’ve got some secret trust fund or just won the lotto, I’ve got some other suggestions for you. Search Craigslist or other real estate related websites for sweet deals. You can rent anything, from a $1,500 cute studio, to a $1,200 ground floor of a two-family residence. Make sure you can envision your writing, painting, planning, meditation etc. area before you say, “I’ll take it!”
I started my current relationship while unemployed and in graduate school. At that time, I was near the end of the second year of nearly three years looking for a job after being laid off.
I suppose I should count my lucky stars and stripes that my partner thought me worthy enough to keep things moving, as many women aren’t keen on starting down a path with a man subsisting primarily off of federal aid. Given that she was employed, she often found herself shouldering the financial burden during several of our outings; While not conservative, she’s traditional enough to prefer playing her “role,” as it were.
Over a year later, the tables have turned: I’m now working full-time in a new career and she is working part-time, in search of gainful employment. Only now our relationship is more significant since we’ve left the courtship stage and have finally moved in together. As the primary breadwinner, I have to, at times, consider and help cover bills that she can’t pay on her own; grocery shopping and evenings out are financial onuses that typically come to me nowadays.
To say it’s an adjustment is putting it pretty mildly. Ever since graduating from college seven years ago, I’ve lived alone and have become used to what little paper I’ve had and earned being my own. There’s a good reason I’ve been so averse to having any little crumb snatchers (aka, children) anytime soon…because I don’t want them snatching my crumbs.
Of course, it’s also an added pressure for her: for a strong-minded, college-educated woman, dealing with asking for help or financial assistance is challenging. I realize this because I’m exactly the same way. When I got laid off, the most agonizing thing for me to do was ask others for money. I dreaded the thought of asking my parents for money, and I would rather have sold my last pair of hole-laden boxers before I ever asked a friend, or…ugh…a woman I was dating.
The experience has been a learning one for me about how to give back to others, albeit a rough one. I had to learn through a couple of small battles to give before waiting to be asked for money, and not to raise a stink about paying for a somewhat expensive meal–especially when I actually have the money to spend on doing so.
It’s also a good test run to having kids who will happily seek to bleed me monetarily until I’m ready to be placed on the spit. We want to have at least one little bugger someday, so I should just consider this s*** right now as practice.
Getting used to this lifestyle has been one of my biggest personal areas of growth; being forced through what feels like poverty (but isn’t quite really) is one of those things that helps any couple, if not any individual, to grow. She said to me the other night that we’ll never be as poor again as we are right now. Hopefully she’s right, but if she isn’t, I’ll start getting prepared now.