Isa mentioned moving out first.
“I’m looking to buy a house,” she told me. “I’ve got a realtor and everything.”
I was impressed and a little sad for what the near-future would bring, the end of five and half years of living together.
Adja gave her notice next.
“I need to move out. I’ll be returning to Senegal soon to visit my mom.”
“Probably at the end of the year.”
The end of the year came and went, but Adja stuck around and moved out at the end of January, right around the time Isa put in a bid for a house. Adja left cards for both Isa and me thanking us for more than four years of drama-free leaving.
And I was left wondering what to do.
Should I go for change and move east or stay on the Westside?
I considered moving east briefly. I wanted change and to be closer to my social life. (These days I feel really disconnected from the Eastside. I think I’ve been in Boyle Heights three times since summer began.) I’d also be closer to my family.
But those few perks weren’t enough to get me to go through the hassle of moving. Most importantly, since my apartment was rent-controlled, I’d be unlikely to find anything comparable and similar in rent. Besides my codo tendencies, I also didn’t want to spend more time commuting. I factored in running too. My neighborhood is good for running (residential area with low/moderate traffic, sidewalks, well-lit, a park, shady at some parts, and cooler summer temperatures). This wouldn’t have mattered to me years ago, but it does now. There were other things to consider too: being close to a branch of my gym; three Trader Joe’s stores in a 3 mile radius; and Downtown Culver City’s farmer’s market and entertainment options nearby. Oh, and I’d gotten attached to the manager’s grandson (can you see why?).
Ultimately, I chose to stay. I found new roommates and they moved in in February and March. After living with five other women over the past nine years, I had my first bad roommate experience. She was out by July. The second new roommate, S, has been great. J, a long time friend became my first male roommate in July. After a few tense months, my living situation returned to being chill, friendly and cooperative.
September 1st marked my 10th anniversary here. I never expected to be here so long, but it just worked out that way. I’m glad I stayed. I would’ve missed my home.