How many people under 30 that live in New York City are happy with their living situation? If I had to guess, it would be under 5%. The rent is high, the deposits are even higher, and the epidemics of the messy roommate and the crazy neighbor are tragically widespread.
But this time my determination was stronger than facts. I was on a mission to find a studio apartment that wouldn’t require me to stop spending money on traveling, trips to Whole Foods, MatchaBar and Sweetgreen (hey, the steelhead ain’t cheap).
I started by tracking down all the affordable housing listings (if you’re a New Yorker and don’t know about it, I highly recommend you look into this subsidized luxury housing in all five boroughs). Dozens of applications, and no response.
Every time I’d be reminded about the “hows” of this affair (like the insane security deposits), I’d get stressed out. Then I had a conversation about it with my mentor, Summer Quashie. Instead of asking me about how I was going to make this all happen, she guided me to focus on how my new home will feel. I had been a nomad for six months at that point, and I couldn’t have been more ready to take a break from packing and unpacking, and actually having a key to a place I called home.
“Close your eyes and imagine coming home into your new space. How does it feel? Describe it,” she guided me.
At first I was skeptical. How would I know how my space feels if I haven’t even found it yet?! But then I gave in: “It feels bright, spacious, full of light and beautiful. It’s so luxurious that it makes me wonder, ‘Is this even real?’”
Bingo. Suddenly I had a very clear sense of what my next home would feel like.
My next step was to create a vision board to put the feeling into images. Whether you believe it or not, vision boards work.
There’s a special alchemy in translating your desires into visual stories which then get imprinted into your consciousness, guiding you to situations and people that support you in getting what you want.
So I made a huge board with the words “The Magic Of Home” cut out of my favorite Porter magazine. There was a fireplace, a big wooden bed, and an abundance of plants. I was being as unreasonably ambitious as I possibly could be… and it worked.
Less than a month later, before I even started looking at apartments, a friend texted me and offered me her luxurious studio with a fireplace, a big wooden bed, and a garden of plants under pretty much “name your own price” conditions.
The moral of the story is this: the same rules apply for apartment hunting as with anything else. Focus on what brings you joy, create space to receive by being a generous giver, and be unreasonable with what you want.
Yes, you can have anything you want in life — including a luxurious New York City apartment with a fireplace… you just have to imagine it first.