When I read The Well’s most recent linkup question, I was surprised to realize that nothing immediately came to mind.
“What did you purchase in the past year that became invaluable to you?”
A plane ticket? My reusable shopping bags? My new DSLR camera? Each of these purchases has been, in their own way, really useful and appreciated (especially my camera, which I’m ridiculously attached to). But I didn’t feel like they quite fit the question.
And then I realized… If there is one purchase that I made in the past year that has being truly life-changing, it’s signing the lease for our apartment in Marina Del Rey.
I have lived in Los Angeles for the past five years — first in student housing, then in a tiny studio that I loved because it represented true independence to me, and finally in a slightly-shabby apartment smack in the middle of the city with my boyfriend.
Though the last apartment wasn’t perfect, it was the first apartment that we’d lived in together, and it held so many memories. The faux-wood floors and single-paned windows (with the not-so-occasional ambulance passing) didn’t matter, because it was exciting and tidy and full of our personality. We even had rent control, which is a real perk. It was perfect for us at that time.
But last June, as our lease was coming to a close, we started to talk about a new adventure. We wanted to move somewhere just slightly out of the city — maybe somewhere a bit safer and quieter, and maybe a bit closer to the water. The thing is, even though Southern California is full of gorgeous, sandy beaches, we almost never visited them. The traffic was horrific and the parking was worse.
So a few weeks after our conversation, we toured several apartments. We saw places with almost-ocean views, sweet resident managers and washer/dryers in the unit. But none of them felt quite right.
Then, in our second-to-last appointment of the day, we visited our current place in Marina Del Rey. It immediately clicked. We loved it (crown molding! a fireplace! the salty air!), but I remember feeling nervous about making the decision on the spot.
So we went to Chipotle for lunch. And then, before we even finished our margaritas, we turned right back around and put in our deposit.
It all felt a bit rash, but I’m so glad we went for it.
That decision has truly changed our lifestyle! I feel safe, we have plenty of room to entertain, and most importantly, we finally live on the water and are enjoying the lifestyle that I’d always hoped for when I moved to California. I learned how much where you live affects every part of your life. It affects your weekend plans, your commute to work, how you feel when you come home late at night, and how often you have guests over.
Leasing our apartment has been more than an invaluable purchase — it’s given me my first grown-up home.
Would you like to read more on this subject? Here are the other bloggers who participated in this month’s linkup:
The B Bar – Girl in Betsey – Glitter & Bow – Pretty Much – White Cabana – Healthfully Ever After – Boulevard House – Always Craving – Southern Charm & Prints – Perfect Enough For Us – Modish & Main – Alessandra Marie – Jenn Inspired – Luv in the Bubble – A Little Leopard – All the Pretty Stars – York Avenue – PR Blonde – Alyssa J Freitas – A Loyal Love – The College Prepster – Burlap & Lace – Brunch on Chestnut – Average Girl’s Guide – The Yuppie Files – Cassandra Monroe – PR Girl Diaries – Life Modifier – Business Betties – Cake & Lilies – Little Wild Heart – The Not Quite Adult – Annie Reeves – Rossetto – Lemon Stripes – Meg Biram – Victoria McGinley