So, I went apartment hunting today. For anyone who has followed me over the course of my moves, that would trigger a big “Uh-oh.” Nothing depresses me more than apartment hunting. Even at home. Overseas it’s worse, because you see a lot of dumps. And I do not do dumps. Thus, I have had more than one post-apartment hunting meltdown.
Today was no different. I viewed a small but lovely (and very expensive) 2 BR apartment today. It’s within walking distance of the school, on gorgeous grounds that include a dog park with a stream meandering through it, a swimming pool and extensive gym, restaurants and more. It is, however, more than the school gives us for rent, so I would need to pay out of my own pocket. Which is fine, except they also want 3 months rent up front. About $6,000 total. Anyway, I put in a bid for 13,000 RMB instead of 14,000 (about $150 less), but I’d sign a 2 year lease instead of 1 if they gave it. We’ll see. Then, of course, I started panicking that they’d just rent it to someone else instead. It’s the only apartment the complex had available, and there are 4 big schools out here, all with new teachers apartment hunting. I do not want to lose this place.
In the meantime, we checked out two apartments at my back-up compound. That’s when I really panicked. They were dumps. I’ve been in toilet-only bathrooms that were bigger than the kitchens; neither had ovens. Just shabby, shabby, shabby, and deeply depressing to think I’d actually have to live in one of them.
So I came home and freaked. Didn’t actually break down crying, which is a big step forward. But I called Gerald and woke him up to wallow. Which is pretty useless, really, if you’ve ever tried to talk to him right after he’s gotten up!
Anyway, at the same time all this is happening, I’m completely beating myself up for being such a baby, of course. My temporary roomie is gladly out hunting through small apartments, not fussing about the kitchens, etc.
I just had a chat with her, told her about the apartments and my near breakdown. She laughed. Our internet was down last night. This annoyed me no end, but I didn’t really think anything of it. She, however, completely collapsed, unbeknownst to me. She said she cried herself to sleep last night. Then she told me about her talk today with one of the guys, who admitted to breaking down last night when he couldn’t get his phone to work.
And it all came back. Even though everyone puts on a brave front during the day, appearing as pillars of strength, we are all walking on a crumbling edge, struggling with huge stressors, overwhelming change–one depressing apartment or internet breakdown away from complete collapse.
Which is great, really. It reminded me that it’s not just me. That it’s part of the process and to be expected. That I’ve been through this before, and it has always worked out. And will again.
But keep your fingers crossed on the apartment!
(I might add, it doesn’t help that I’ve had about 8 hours sleep in 4 days! But Addison gets out of quarantine on Friday, hooray, hooray!)