Sometimes, Good Things Happen

Between this and the other blog (The Lifelong Mixtape) I occasionally write, it’s probably obvious to even the casual observer that this has been a tough year. Unemployment, divorce, preparing to sell a house, and looking for a new place to live while also looking for a steady job—all at the same time? I don’t recommend it.

But, sometimes good things happen, too.

To protect the privacy of others, I won’t name names, but I have found some support in unexpected places over the last couple of months. I’ve had kind words from folks I haven’t known very long, offers of assistance/emotional support from people who are having troubles of their own, and people willing to cut me some slack when it would have been much easier to just cut me loose.

Then, last week, an act of enormous generosity: the use of an otherwise unoccupied condo for the next few months, starting in January.

A couple of weeks ago, I started an internship (paid!). At my interview the previous week, I made it a point to disclose up front (when asked about my schedule) all the things that have been going on. That way, they could take the possibility of disruptions into account when making their decision about bringing me on—and, if they did bring me on, any such disruptions would make sense, rather than simply making me look flaky and unreliable. (I don’t want to be flaky and unreliable anyway.)

So, when one of the folks I’m interning for asked me to stick around for a couple of minutes after our latest weekly “staff” meeting (I put “staff” in quotation marks because there are just four of us), saying she’d just thought of an idea regarding my search for an apartment, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I’ve had plenty of well-meaning folks give me advice about what to do, where to go, who to talk to, etc.; I figured this might be something similar.

Instead, she started talking about the condo she owns. She’s not living there anymore, but can’t sell right now because she’s underwater on her mortgage. She can’t rent it out because of the HOA, but she’d be willing to let me live there for the next six months while my soon-to-be-ex-wife and I work on getting our house sold, divorce filed, and so on. In exchange, I essentially commit to part-time hours on what would otherwise be the internship. Towards the end of the six months, we look at where we are and what to do next.

Needless to say, I was stunned. At that point, we’d met in person all of three times (including the interview); under such circumstances, I think it requires an incredible leap of faith to make an offer like that. Also, it was totally unsolicited. I hadn’t asked for anything beyond being aware that the things going on in my life right now could affect my schedule.

I tentatively accepted the offer.

I was probably in a daze for the next few hours. When I got to the grocery store to pick up a couple of things before going home, for a brief moment I did not really know what I was doing there.

Three days later, we went to look at the place. It’s a bit smaller than the few rentals I’d been able to look at, but it’s in a nice building, it’s in good condition, and it’s actually in the city, so it’s close to everything. Plus, the arrangement will save me from paying the thousands of dollars I would otherwise have had to spend on rent and initial deposits.

I confirmed my acceptance of the offer.

I won’t be able to move until after the holidays, but this gives me time to get things packed up, as well as to get rid of whatever stuff I’m not going to keep.

Most importantly, this latest development has lifted a huge weight from me. I hadn’t fully realized just how stressful everything has been these last couple of months. Now I can breathe.

Sometimes, good things happen.

(December 16, 2012)