Friday, 11 January 2013

How I Made the Move

"It will never change if you want it to stay the same / I really hate it but I know it's hard to choose if you're chained."
- Lights, Saviour
A month after my twentieth birthday, I moved out on my own. It was a decision I had mentally made years earlier. I had always sworn, "The day I turn eighteen, I'm moving out." Clearly, it didn't happen like that. I decided to save as much money as possible and when the right time came to move out, I would just know. I did.

My boss, at the time, was the superintendent of a nice low-rise apartment. One day, he mentioned that a bachelor apartment in his building became available. The person living across from that unit just happened to be one of my friends (whom I also worked with). This sounded perfect and I jumped at the opportunity (especially since he was able to give me my rent below market value).

A few months later, my friend moved out. I then came to the realization that, while going to school and working part-time, I couldn't afford the rent in that neighbourhood of the city. It was time for me to move; again.

This time I moved into a townhouse right outside of my university's campus. I had eight roommates. That's right, eight. Three people lived on the third floor, four people (including myself) lived on the second floor and two lived on the main floor. Fortunately, I had my own washroom, but we all had to share one tiny kitchen. For a good 6-8 months, living there was really enjoyable. Having roommates was fun and we all seemed to get along. Then one day, our landlord (who liked to illegally enter the premise without telling us he was coming) decided that he was going to renovate our basement and add more rooms to it. The basement was our only common space. The only space we could go to actually breathe and hang out together. Once the renovations started (as well as a house-party gone wrong) things started to fall apart. People were accusing each other of stealing their food, using their pots and pans and not cleaning up after themselves. I ended up having to keep my dishes, pots and pans, food, etc. in my room for the fear that someone might take it. Needless to say, I cut my lease short and moved out. I eventually lost contact with all my former roommates, despite leaving on good terms with them (we all had one major thing in common: we hated our landlord).

I then moved into another house in that area, with friends. This was great, until the friends moved out. I cut that lease short as well and moved into a basement bachelor unit just a couple houses down. Despite the shotty cellphone reception, I loved my bachelor unit. Besides the fact that my rent was amazing (I paid $565 a month, hydro and internet included; albeit slow internet), it was mine. All mine. For once, I could really appreciate my independence.

When I graduated, I knew it was time for me to let go of my bachelor unit. I had spent two wonderful years in it and letting go was hard (yes, I did shed a couple tears). I was growing up. I was letting go of being a student. I now had a full-time job, paid off my student debt (woot woot!) and was a part of the "real world."

I packed up my stuff and moved into a bachelor unit in a high-rise building near a trendy part of my city. There, my rent almost doubled and my new unit wasn't as nice. But hey, I was living in a great neighbourhood, right by the subway line and my building had amenities (including a pool, sauna, gym, tennis court and squash courts). Not long after moving in, I accepted my new life and learned to love my new apartment just as much as I loved my previous bachelor unit. It's been over a year since I moved into that apartment and I'm still there. Still happy to be there too!

Moving out has given me the greatest sense of independence I could possibly ask for. It's also one of the best decisions I've ever made in my life. I love my family, but we don't always see eye-to-eye.. on anything. This has given us the space we need. To top it off, its taught me that change is scary, but necessary. With change comes more opportunities and other ways to be happy in life.

Of course, to each their own. If my family life was perfect, I'd probably still be living at home and I'd have a hard time letting go. Just because moving out at a relatively young age (it's not like I was still in high school) was the right decision for me, it doesn't mean it's the right decision for everyone. But guys, if you're 30-years-old and you still live with at home with your mom (unless she's really sick or something), it's time to move out. That's not an attractive quality. At all.

But hey, staying up and coming home as late you want with no one to question you, making your own rules and eating whatever the heck you want, what more could you ask for? For me, it's my own little paradise. At way too much a month plus other expenses. /facepalm

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