This is the year of change for me–tonight I will be signing the lease to my very own one bedroom apartment! I can’t believe it! I never thought I would be able to afford to live on my own, but with this new job and some strategic saving on my part, I’m able to do it.

When I first started looking for a place, nothing was popping up in the areas where I really wanted to live. I work in the city but I am most definitely not a city girl; even if I have a commute, I’d rather live outside the busy city center. Also, any apartment complexes I looked at turned me off–they could raise your rent at any time and some of them advertised a different rent than what you got when you sat down with them. I didn’t like that. I began to get discouraged–maybe I would never find a place, or maybe I had to lower my expectations. Well, let me tell you, don’t do that. I found a listing in the neighborhood where I grew up for under my budget. It looked perfect! I went to see it and WOW was I surprised. Let’s just say, there were no pictures online for a reason. After that bad experience, I gave up searching for a couple weeks. I decided that maybe I would move back home with my parents (which would create a horrific 2-hours-both-ways commute all over again).

Finally, one day at work while I was eating my lunch, I decided to take one last browse through some of my choice neighborhoods to see if anything new had come up. Well, wouldn’t you know it, I found a listing right away. There were plenty of pictures and it looked adorable. I called the number on the listing immediately and scheduled a showing. When I pulled up to the house (it’s a duplex and I’ll be living on the top floor), I just died–it was adorable and the neighborhood was gorgeous. The landlady is extremely nice and she made it clear that she wants someone nice, quiet, and respectful to move in. Once she brought me (and my sister, who I brought along for the ride) upstairs to see the actual apartment, I absolutely fell in love. As I walked around looking and asking questions, my sister kept muttering “Take this place. Take it. If you don’t take it, I’ll take it.” I think I knew the second I stepped in the door that I wanted this place.

I never would have found my new apartment if I hadn’t continued looking. I was about to give up completely and I would have missed this! And I probably would have moved home over the winter and sure, I would have been able to save money, but this apartment is too good to pass up. Don’t give up! I know that’s cliche and overused, but really, don’t. You want a new career? Go for it. Do whatever you can to achieve that. What about a new car? A new lifestyle? Do it! You are empowered. It took me a long time to realize that I am a powerful person and I am the catalyst for change in my own life. Take it from someone who has had a tumultuous last two or three years–you will get what you want if you do. Don’t think or try, do.

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