I’m generally the type of person that does best lots and lots of under pressure. I usually set up the circumstances for myself: waiting until the very last minute to start writing a paper, having a whole ton of commitments at the same time, you know the deal. It’s probably why I loved working in the newsroom of a daily paper – it’s a pressure cooker.
I have a pretty high threshold for what kind of pressure I can work under – but there’s one type of pressure that’s just the breaking point for me: having too many variables in my life at the same time. When I know exactly what’s going on, what needs to be done, what the pros/cons, consequences, etc., I’m just fine and dandy (now do you see where my list-making tendencies come from?). Throw in a few major uncertainties – say, not having a job, not having income, and having to move? Yeah… not the best recipe for a healthy, sane Jenn.
The whole wanting to find another apartment thing was really wearing on me. I could tell it was a problem because I was completely avoiding/ignoring it. While I should have been out and about looking at new apartments last weekend, I holed myself up in my current apartment and came up with every excuse possible not to go out and do it.
A few days of stewing on the weirdness of my behavior and I realized the problem: finding an apartment in my current state would just be WAY too much of a hassle. Like I said: I don’t have a job, I don’t have any income, and I have a dog. That’s not exactly a shining rental application.
So I had a thought. I called my landlord and asked for a 6 month extension on my lease. Time to think. Time to figure out the next steps in my life. THEN I would have a better idea of what I want/need in an apartment, I’d hopefully have some form of income, and I could make a less hasty decision.
I wasn’t sure if he’d go for it. I was waiting on a call back. Meanwhile, I decided that if he said no, I’d renew my lease. Even the thought of the 6-month extension was enough stress-relief to make me realize that staying here is the right decision, despite the high rent that I was trying to get away from.
Thankfully, I got a call back today. He offered me what basically amounts to a month-to-month lease. Which is absolutely perfect and even better than I had asked for. Now I just have to give him 30 days notice and I can leave with no penalties on my 1-year lease. This means I can stay here for a month or I can stay here for 8 or even the whole year. I have all the wiggle room in the world. Phenomenal.
Things immediately fell back into place. That whole part of my brain (apparently a large portion considering I was basically sitting on my couch for 3 days with analysis paralysis) was freed up and I found myself getting back into the things I SHOULD have been paying attention to: working on Accompl.sh, thinking up new projects, re-acquainting myself with old hobbies.
I feel like I’m back. I didn’t realize what an affect that one added variable of needing to find a place to stay was having on me. Apparently other people were feeling it too. After talking to my mom today she mentioned that I sounded completely different and less snappy.
So lesson learned: Keep the unknowns in my life to a reasonable number. There’s only so much a person can handle at once. Sometimes you have to take the loss of paying more rent than you’d like just to keep your sanity. Also: ask for what you want. It worked out even better than I thought it could have!