You would think looking for your new apartment would be so much fun… think again, my friends. This was, by far, the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. I would like to compare it to childbirth, except I have no idea what that’s like, so I’m going to say it is like having your toenails ripped off by a vampire in the dark. (Because, obviously, I’ve had this happen…) The pain, the anxiety, the band-aids you would need are identical in both situations.
My first day with my first real estate broker went something like this:
Him: “What area of Manhattan are you thinking about living?”
Me: “Well, I love the Upper West Side, but…”
Him: “Okay, great! Let’s see if we can get you in some places on the Upper East Side.”
Me: “Wait, is there nothing on the Upper West?”
Wow. Talk about deflating. After it was explained to me, I understood they were just trying to get us more space (1 bedroom) for our money. So, I hit the streets with he who must not be named.
The next day, I couldn’t move. Not only was I adjusting to the faster pace of the city, but my broker was literally 8 ft. tall. One of his steps was 12 of mine, and daddy long legs stopped for no one. Saturday was a day of waiting – good thing, because I seriously couldn’t walk due to the blisters on my feet.
Sunday. Ah, Sunday. Another day where I was directed to wait by he who must not be named. So, I decided to go to the Hillsong Church downtown. They are very Shoreline-esque; this particular Sunday, it was even held in a bar in Union Square. It was such a natural fit, I was pumped to check it out. Now, this is where things get awesome! I walk in and it’s standing room only, so I head upstairs to the balcony. Directly across from me is this sign:
All weekend I had been
asking begging God to be direct with me. Making a decision like this was going to be hard for me to do by myself and I needed a clear yes or no from Him. How’s that for a sign?
The church service was amazing! The worship? Outstanding. The message? It could’ve been titled, “Tara, are you listening?”. It was “Occupy All Streets” and was given by the lead pastor, Carl Lentz. The Big Idea was to use where you are to bring glory to God, but one of the things the pastor said hit me hard. He said, “You are exactly where God called you to be.”
I’m gonna let that sink in for a minute.
You are EXACTLY where God called you to be.
The wheels started turning. I’m in Union Square, God, so what? Do you mean, I’m literally where you called me to be?
I got new sense of determination and jumped on the phone and called a new broker with a new company and began searching for apartments, albeit smaller, in Union Square! The new broker, Gabriela, was a dream! She met me, on a Sunday, and showed me three apartments. Her boyfriend, Kevin, was also a broker and had found one more apartment that he wanted Gabriela to show me. He loves downtown and was excited to find a place for me too! He even said to Gabriela, “This is her apartment, we have to get her in there.” Only one hang up: this apartment wouldn’t allow Sunday showings; it was Monday through Friday only. So, we met at 9:30, Monday morning, in hopes that we would be the first showing of the day. I saw it, loved it, sent Brian one photo, called him on the way to her office, and put in an application! Poor Brian, he really had to trust me on this one. But Kevin was right, this was my apartment! Then began the torturous application process, but I was ready. I had every piece of documentation possible, including tax returns, security deposits in the thousands, and a waiver to hand over our first born when the time came. We knew this would be tough because we were both self-employed and proving that you make 40 times the rent is exactly the opposite of what you try to do the other 364 days of the year for tax purposes. Once everything was in, there was more waiting.
The next day, my mom came into town. She got in late, so we dropped her bags and went to dinner at Vincent’s in Little Italy. Pretty amazing red sauce, but very heavy. We shared the eggplant parmesan – good thing, because it was huge! It was good to venture out a little bit. For the most part, I had stayed close to the hotel because I had so much anxiety about the apartment, I couldn’t justify doing anything but house hunting.
The broker told us to expect an answer Wednesday with a possible move-in date of Thursday. So, another day of waiting. But, mom and I used our time wisely and did some sightseeing. It was hot and rainy, but we made the best of it and saw Times Square
Radio City Music Hall
Rockefeller Center and The Tree
And Mom’s mecca, Fox News
Wednesday night, at 4:30pm, I got a call from Gabriela that our application had been accepted and we got the apartment. I cried. Then, I thanked Jesus, because there was no other way to explain how we got this apartment. Over and over, I kept focusing on Ephesians 3:20, “Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” Ain’t that the truth?!
Here’s some pics of our new home – as soon as I finish building our furniture from Ikea (I hate that place, but that’s another story!), I’ll post some more photos.
Give me a few weeks to get it setup and I’ll post some more pictures!