First of all, thanks to all who sent comments both here and in private emails. You all totally ROCK!
Jody and I both "knew" somehow that I would get an apartment the first day -- and it would be the first one we looked at. This all came true (even though we spent the whole day looking at the other apartments, too). In the end, they denied my application due to my income not being three times what the rent is and because of a spot on my credit record where I didn't pay a bill from the GAP. That charge was justifiably disputed (long story but trust me on this) and I learned that once you dispute a charge, they simply turn the account over to another credit company. I could continue to dispute the charges again and again or I could write to the two major credit corporations to document my side of the story. (Advice alert -- don't fall into the trap of department store credit cards!) Other than that, my credit was flawless. So Jody decided to rent out the apartment herself (on paper only) and she believes in me enough to risk being accountable for me paying the bills on time. I've said it before, and I'll say it again -- my sister is the greatest sister anyone could have. She has always been supportive of me in any way she can, and this just takes the cake. She and her husband recently bought a townhouse for their son who makes the mortgage payments, so they are his landlord -- plus they have a great investment now. They are making plans to do the same for me but they have to refinance their house first. They are talking about it happening in a year or so. A lot can happen in a year, though, so who knows what's in store for me in the long run. Either way, I am through living in ghetto dumps owned by the government. No more fire drills in the middle of the night. No more maintenance men banging on my door every few days to check something they have to check in all the apartments. No more panhandlers begging for money everytime I walk out my door. No more unwelcome neighbors panhandling at my front door. No more rats or gigantic roaches. No more fears of all the night noises. No more meals on wheels delivering to my apartment and me having to tell them which apartment they are really looking for. No more elevators! No more sirens. No more paramedics coming to the wrong door (mine). No more constant and ongoing noises from construction that never end. Ahhhhh.... I've actually had maintenance men use their keys when I didn't answer the door fast enough. It makes me paranoid just taking a shower. I've been very lucky they haven't walked in on me during a shower. Very lucky! So goodbye to all of it!
The apartment is $635 a month plus utilities, which run about $200 a month if you include cable, phone, and internet. I know I can pull this off. My savings account is bulging, so I will be able to buy the things I need for my new place. There's also a Kroger right across the street! Two different bus routes stop right in front of the apartment. No more survival mode. I will just have to cut corners on my daily spending, which I've done before and never went without anything I needed. So it's all good.
I won't get to move in for two months, though. That's the soonest the apartment will be ready. It's a ground floor apartment, which I insisted on. I could have moved into another apartment this week but it was a level up and a bit more expensive because it overlooks the pool. I chose the other apartment because I don't care about looking at the pool or climbing stairs. Who knows when my MS will flare up. So the wait is worth it. I'll have time to save even more money and build up my savings to a very comfortable level.
Needless to say, I am very excited about this move!
I know I said that I wouldn't mention Darlene anymore, but I was very angry at the time. I found peace with her decision even before Jody and I went apartment hunting. I know her well enough to know that she had an unexpected "hunch" that the move was wrong for some reason. I've gotten those hunches myself about other things but not about that move. So of course I was pissed. I also know when I get those hunches from Spirit, there's nothing I can do but follow my gut feeling even though every ounce of my being says to resist it. I know it wasn't about her son needing a room when he comes home for visits from college, although it was the final point of decision for Darlene to write that email. Do you have any idea how difficult it was for her to write that email? It was most likely one of the hardest things she's ever had to do -- and she didn't really know why. But writing that email was the best she could do in her situation, considering her other choices. Knowing Darlene, I can understand why she didn't call me instead. I haven't spoken to her but I found my own peace within. I had to find peace for my own sanity!
If she hadn't acted on her hunch, I would be making a mistake by moving in with her. That is hard to admit, but it's true. Hindsight... Also, I didn't get the same hunch, so I was driven to pack all my things and get myself in gear to move. I have talked about moving for years, but Spirit knew I would not take action unless I had one helluva good reason. Moving in with Darlene was my reason. If I had a hunch, even for a moment, that the move was a mistake, I never would have prepared to move. I would have fallen victim once again to my plight in government housing. So Darlene was as much an angel as my sister in this situation, even though she has no idea. I'm so glad she followed her gut on this. I know it was hard. I'd like to say I forgive her, but the truth is, forgiveness is irrelevant. She did what she had to do and I'm grateful for it.
On a whole other subject...
I don't know how many of you visit YouTube, but there's an interesting story that has hit the national news. A 16 year old girl who calls herself "lonelygirl15" has been video blogging for months about her life stuck in her bedroom, homeschooled, with religious and strict parents, few friends, and boyfriend troubles. She has become very popular on YouTube and her videos get as much as 700,000 hits each. I have been following her story from Day One, and last week it was revealed that she was an actress who was chosen by a production company to play the character of lonelygirl15. She is actually 19 or 20 (can't remember) and she is nothing like her character in the videos. They plan to turn it into a movie, I think. I don't know, and I don't really care one way or the other. I enjoy her videos and I will continue to stay subscribed. But the main reason I am writing about this is because of Karla. She is the true lonelygirl15. Karla's story is nearly identical. She is also 16 and homeschooled with boyfriend problems, few friends, and a religious parent. I thought of Karla every time I watched lonelygirl's videos. The similarities are uncanny and downright amazing! But Karla is not an actress. It's truly HER life!
I just had to throw that in because the rest of the world will never know that someone in this world is really leading the life that lonelygirl15 shows in her made-up character.
That's all for now. I will keep you posted on my life -- and it is very real (in case anyone was wondering). Acting is definitely not one of my talents!
I hope life is treating all of you very well!