Well, just about a week ago, I signed a lease for my new home in Mt. Dora, FL. I practically fell in love with the house the first moment I saw the pictures online. It’s a 2/2 with a loft, fenced backyard, a shed, and front porch. Sure, it’s in a duplex, but still…this place is fantastic! And for only $800 a month, I couldn’t pass it up. However, money was still a worry for me. I took a look at my pay stubs and averaged out the amount I was making every month to be roughly $1500. Now, when you factor in utilities like electric, water, and garbage disposal, that brings the monthly expenses to about $980-$1000. With $500 left to spend on groceries, dog and cat food, gas, toiletries, repairs, and medical needs, you can see why I was concerned. I’ve lived without cable before, so that isn’t a big issue for me. Heck, when I lived with Gene, we had a damn VHS player. My biggest concern was the internet. I know I could go in town and use the free WiFi hotspots, but what about the comfort of home? What if I had something I really needed to get done and all the shops were closed in town for one of the seemingly endless amount of festivals they have? Yes, I still have my phone which can occasionally pick up a signal for a very, very slow internet connection, and thankfully my parents still pay for it. But I can’t help but think of all the “what if”s.
I’m discouraged enough looking at my Excel spreadsheet of finances, thinking, “How in the hell am I supposed to live like this?”, but I’ve already signed the lease and there is no turning back. I’ve started to think that this perhaps was a bad idea. I mean, I have $50 of wiggle room every month, according to the budget I’ve laid out for myself. If the electric bill is higher than I planned or if Petey ends up needing to go to the vet, I’m royally screwed. Sure, my parents would probably help out, but the entire reason for my moving out of the home was to break off connections to them. Not entirely, of course, (although that was the plan at first) but just enough to feel as though I am my own person. And the service industry is a very fickle thing to rely on for income. I can make $150 one night and only $15 the next. I’ve considered getting a second job, but that is just not fair at all to Petey. He’s bummed enough that I spend so much time at work as it is, I couldn’t leave him home alone all damn day. Especially not after moving to an entirely different environment.
When I first found the home, I did so much research on the area. I planned out how much I should expect to spend on water and electric in that area, I started keeping track of how much money I was actually pocketing each day at work, and I looked at jobs in that area that I could begin before I actually moved in. I looked at my belongings and decided what to keep and what to cut out, I’ve stopped eating out so much, and I’ve been using cash vs. the debit card so I’m more conscious of my spending. I haven’t even moved out there yet, and I’m already freaking out. And especially with my impulsive tendencies and fear of commitment, it’s started to make me itchy knowing that I’m required to live there for an entire year. I can actually see this being my forever home, despite the fact it’s in a duplex. However, my stress level has really skyrocketed this past week. I hope that as time passes and things begin to settle more, and I find someone to take over my lease here at the Rouse House, and I get confirmation from the GD in Apopka, and I actually begin to move my things into the Dora House, that I will calm down and enjoy my new life. I will no longer worry about coming home to the roommate’s messes, I will get the furniture and dishes I like, I will have my very own bathroom, and best of all, I won’t have to pay for someone else’s use of A/C (which I almost never use) and their 30 minute showers.
All of this chaos, some important and some frivolous, going on in my head, I believe I can get through. Even if I pay rent by the skin of teeth and eat rice and beans for the next 12 months, I know I will find a way. I always do. Despite all my financial concerns, I think the part that is truly going to eat away at me will be the loneliness. I’ve never really lived alone; I’ve always had roommates. And even then, the times I felt lonely, I always had the internet or the TV to provide noise or comfort. But without that in this new home, and without any roommates, I don’t know how I’ll cope. Sure, I have Petey and he is absolutely my favorite boy to cuddle and play with, but human-dog interaction can only go so far. I can’t have a deep conversation with him or even ask for his advice on a problem at work. But I’m just really hoping that without the internet and TV, I’ll realize what a beautiful small town I’m in and take advantage of that. I’ll walk Pete to the park, fish on the lake, get to know my neighbors, volunteer more, perhaps get back into writing and painting and playing my guitar. Maybe I’ll even get to take the canoe out.
Okay, enough deep thought for now, I’m going to enjoy the Netflix while I can. “Rule of Engagement” is calling me and with Petey by my side and a decent amount of food in my belly, I couldn’t be more content.