Back in April of 2011, I remember logging into my FB account and seeing my SIL posting (after a night of drinking with her friends) that she was “ready to take the next step!” She meant — as many of us who have been married for awhile and are either closing in on or in our 30’s do — that she was ready for kids.
Today, I said “I’m ready to take the next step”, and it meant something wholly different.
When I moved from my apartment with D, to the in-law apartment behind my parents’ house, that was a big step. The first step. Sort of like “the college years” of getting divorced. College is, in my mind, the perfect first step to becoming an adult. You live on campus, your bills are all prepaid, you go to the cafeteria for your meal plan, you have an RA making sure that you’re not hiding booze and strippers in your room. But you also are living without your parents for the first time. You don’t have to make decisions like “shit, am I going to eat this month or pay the electric bill?” but you do need to learn (sometimes the hard way) that a diet of Coke and Lucky Charms does not bode well for your figure, and that staying up until all hours of the morning playing Halo and eating cheese pizza is not going to result in straight A’s. Also, in college (in most cases), there’s a “glass floor” — you can fuck up, but (usually) you can only fuck up so much.
That was what this apartment was for me. It was a month-to-month lease that I could quit at any time, it was behind my parents’ house (in case I cried relentlessly and needed support — thus far, hasn’t happened, and doesn’t look like it will), and I knew that I could leave (either to go back to D or to move on) any time I wanted. And in a lot of ways, it was exactly what I needed.
But I don’t want to do it forever. And lately I’ve been feeling ready to take that next step.
A friend of mine, Samantha, broke up with her long-time boyfriend back in December, and asked me the other day if I wanted to move in with her. She’s living with her mom out about an hour from campus, and she’s graduating this spring. So it wouldn’t be for a couple of months. I had to think about it, because I really don’t want to give up my ridiculously cheap rent. But if we get a two-bedroom apartment for $850 a month (feasible), then it’s possible, it really is, to leave my current place without my bills going too high. And it would mean someone who would help with the utilities…and someone who understands what I’m going through, both financially, educationally, and emotionally.
And this morning I emailed her to confirm that this is something she really wants to do.
Sometimes I feel like the world’s biggest chicken. Like it has taken me FOREVER to get to this point. And people in my life (my family, especially) have been asking, over and over again “What are you are waiting for?”
For this, guys. For the ability to take a step and know that I am ready, know that it is the right one. To be comfortable with the choices I make, to have some sense of control, instead of resignation. Yeah, the process is slow, but at the same time? When I make the choices, make the steps, they are the right ones.
I’m ready to take the next step.