As I write this I am sitting in my new apartment. It is a junior one bedroom with a small kitchen, a walk-in closet, and a nice little bathroom. The location is great; right in my favorite part of the San Fernando Valley that has my preferred Ralphs and not just a few eclectic cafés (pun intended). It is exactly what I wanted and perfect for me. But what really makes this apartment extra fantastic, what makes it not just a little bit great, is that the only name on the lease is mine.
I’ve been living in Los Angeles for just over four years. When I moved out here from Arizona, I was going to school and I lived in Hollywood at Park La Brea. I have the kind of wonderful, supportive parents that wanted me to be able to focus on school and not have to worry about working enough to pay for rent, so they paid my bills while I was attending The American Musical and Dramatic Academy. Even though I lived in that apartment by myself, it was not mine. I contributed nothing and felt very badly about that, but at the same time, was grateful beyond words that I had an opportunity that many kids don’t get; the opportunity to focus purely on my passion.
After I got out of school, my sister, Jaimie, moved out to LA to pursue dancing and we got a place together. We lived in a great double master apartment on Ventura in Studio City, had tons of fun, and loved sharing our lives together. It was a nice apartment complex and I, being 20, needed a co-signer, so my parents gladly volunteered. Did I mention I have amazing parents? I lived in that apartment for over two years, and then decided that I was spending too much money. I wanted to be able to save, and I wasn’t able to save with the job I had combined with where I was living. So, I moved out and into a one bedroom apartment in Hollywood with my good friend, Kendall.
The plan was to live with Kendall for five-ish months and save enough money to move to Boston in October. Needless to say, I came to the conclusion that LA is the place I need to be for now. I still want to be in Boston with every cell of my being, but that’s another subject entirely. Living with Kendall was great, but once again, it was not my apartment, I wasn’t even on the lease. Also, I’m allergic to cats and she has two. If I liked cats I would love hers (because they are very lovable), but I don’t, so I don’t. It’s not personal.
So, this past weekend I moved out and into this cozy little nook I call my own. This is the first time I signed a lease by myself, without a co-signer or a roommate, and it’s the first time I can truly say that this is MY apartment. I am thrilled.