My New Experience
A decision to move
Back in November 2017 I decided I wanted to move out of my apartment. I put in my notice, in writing to the building management and began to pack up my stuff. Having lived in my 2 bedroom apartment for 9 years, I accumulated a lot of stuff. I didn't realize how much stuff I really had until I started cleaning out closets and packing boxes. I had a friend helping me pack, but I felt like she was rushing me when we would start to pack things. She was constantly putting stuff in front of me to go through and it began to get extremely overwhelming. I knew things needed to be packed, but to continuously put things in front of me and tell me to go through them was too much. I was also trying to complete my foundation year internship and semester of grad school, in which I had 2 papers to write that were due around the same time. I just needed a change of scenery. Ever since John passed away in 2015, things were different for me. Everything and everywhere reminded me of him. Despite having built a social life on Singer Island, which was centered around live music and drinking, I still felt like I didn't fit in there. I had people who cared, but it just wasn't the same without John by my side. A move away from Singer Island was just what I needed. My biggest concern was finding a suitable and safe place that would take my dogs and my housing voucher. That was proving to be extremely challenging. I persisted and completed my internship and my semester, but time was not on my side. There were complications...
Moving is complicated...when on government assistance
Ok, I know moving is complicated regardless, but it is even more complicated when you have a voucher that only allows a certain number of bedrooms at a certain price. Typically, at least in Palm Beach County, that means you will probably be moving to the part of town with higher crime rates and more drug use. That right there terrified me! I wanted to feel safe to walk my dogs by myself, day or night. I was struggling so much to find a suitable place that was also wheelchair friendly and allowed 2 dogs of different sizes...but that was an impossible task. I felt so hopeless I thought about giving up my dalmatian just to be able to get into a place. It is much easier to get into a place with one 15 lb dog vs that dog and a 60 lb dog...I cried myself to sleep that night because giving up my dalmatian was not an option, but I felt it was my only option. I spoke to my friend about it the next day and she told me I couldn't do that. She said that was NOT AN OPTION! I cried and accepted there was no way I could EVER get rid of my dog! But I was having NO LUCK finding a place to live...and it was almost Christmas...My caseworker was unreachable and no one at the housing office was helpful to me. I felt hopeless and lost. I reached out on Facebook in a desperate plea for help, or for someone to allow me to stay with them, with my dogs, until I could find a place to live. That didn't get me anywhere either!! At that point I was ready to accept living out of my van with my dogs. I didn't have any other options...Life was really cruel to me at this moment and I felt all hope was lost!
There is one light still shining...but it is far away...
One very early morning when I was unable to sleep due to the stress of the situation, I had a friend from high school message me on Facebook. That conversation went on for hours and it turned into me having a place to go...But it meant making an extremely difficult decision to go somewhere I'd never even been before. I'd made so many connections in Florida that could be potential careers for me, and yet, I was feeling the need to leave Florida behind and start all over again. That conversation changed my mood and I finally had a place to go. I have to say, though, that was the most difficult decision I EVER made in my life! There were a few people I didn't want to leave, but I had to do what was best for me. It was time to start planning my escape. I had to find a storage unit, a truck to transport my stuff, and people to help. I was able to get all of that fairly easily and then I had to figure out my trip there...I had to figure out a halfway point and find a pet friendly hotel, and then I had to find a pet friendly hotel to live in for a week while I found somewhere to live. I arrived safely in Tennessee and my search began...
Fate is a funny thing...You just can't explain it
I don't know what else to say except that this move was written in the stars for me. It reminds me of all the things that led to my move to Florida. When I decided I wanted to move to Florida, everything fell into place for me...Although my dad passed away right before all of these positive things happened, I think he was part of the plan. I know that sounds bad, but let me explain. Despite the issues I had with my dad, I was attached to my dad. I loved him so much and took the opportunities to spend time with him, even if it meant going to the doctor with him. It was time well spent. Right after we buried him I received a letter in the mail that I had been waiting on for 4 years...I was approved for a housing voucher!! This was my ticket to Florida. I transferred it to Palm beach county and began looking for a place while I stayed with John. I got super lucky and found my apartment at the end of his street after asking 3 other places if they would accept the voucher. This I believe would not have been possible had my dad still been alive because I felt like I needed to be close to him.
So, back to my move to Tennessee...After 2 days of being in the hotel in TN, my friend found me some listings and I called about them, but only got one response. I applied for approval of this house, and on New Year's Eve got the call that I had been approved!!! I was so super excited!!! I hadn't even been out to see the house, only pictures online. My friend and I went out there and saw the house and it seemed perfect. I signed a lease, paid my rent and deposit, and moved in the day I had to be out of the hotel. In less than a week after moving to TN I had a HOUSE...It is a small house, 800 sq ft, but it is mine...I have a washer/dryer, and my dogs have a fenced in yard to play in. There was NO WAY this wasn't meant to be!! I am amazed at all of this, but am so happy to be here. I feel positive things are coming my way. Life has a way of surprising you when you least expect it! I felt so hopeless a month ago, but now I am safe and in a house that works for me and my dogs! Also, in December of this year, I will be receiving my Masters of Social Work in Mental Health and Addictions!!! Life goals achieved!!! Here's to a great future ahead of me!!!