The last time we toured your home you were living in a sprawling two-bedroom apartment in Uptown. Tell us about your move! How did you find your current place? What was on your wish list?
Well, long story short, my roommate moved to Baltimore, and I didn't know anyone else that was able to move in. Plus, I had this mentality of, "I'm almost 28, I've never lived alone, and I can finally afford to, so let's give this a shot." My have-to-have wish list always includes hardwood floors, a lot of natural light, laundry in the building, and dog-friendly, the latter of which eliminates 90 percent of one bedrooms in Chicago. Once I started looking around at pricing, I knew my preferred-but-don't-need wish list of outdoor space and dishwasher were likely off the table. At that point it was just a matter of who allowed dogs and had the most space since I needed room for my new and very large sofa, a workspace, and my pups to run amok.
I have to admit, looking around at places was a bit discouraging. I'm always in shock with what landlords can get away with. And I had plenty of "I'm never going to find anything . . . I might be moving back in with my mom, but at least I'll save money" moments. But when I walked into this apartment in Lincoln Park — an area much further south and closer to downtown than I've ever lived — I was sold. It was in an old vintage hotel with charming details that I just loved: arched doorways, a separate entryway, built-in nooks, etc. The kitchen and bathroom weren't anything to write home about, but I was used to that and have come to expect it having always lived in older buildings. The rent was a little more than I wanted to pay, but I justified it in the money I'd be saving commuting anywhere since I was so much closer to everything. Not to mention, heat was included, which saved a ton of money during the never-ending Narnia Winter Chicago had this year.
This past year was your first time living on your own! What was that like? Would you recommend living alone to other Everygirls, or do you prefer having roommates?
Living alone was . . . meh. If I'm being totally honest, I didn't love it. Sure, you can walk around in your underwear and watch the shows you want to watch, but I'd much rather have company, even if it's in passing. I am the youngest of three siblings, so I'm used to sharing bathroom time, TV time, food in the pantry, et al. I'm not even a big social butterfly — I'll spend a lot of time in my room when I do have a roommate. It's just nice having that human interaction on a regular basis.
Speaking of which, another big factor is the fact that I work from home alone all day. So once evening came, I was desperate to either get out of the house or have someone over. If I had a roommate, at least their arrival home would be a nice indication of "work is over, and it's time to relax or socialize." Working from home and living alone was just too much alone time for me. But I know a lot of people who love it; it's just not for me.
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