Confessions of a Laid-off Lawyer

Just Your Average Joe Blogging Away His Debt—In One Year or Less

Gettin’ That Move On

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Total Black: $2,221.50
Total Red: $235,531.41

After the long night referenced in Talk Back, I had taken a cab back home and used that opportunity to bring a few boxes back with me from the temporary attorney staffing space.  This afternoon I started packing.  And cleaning.  So far I only packed a few boxes of books.  And I only mopped the bathroom floor.  But it’s a start.  See, a prospective tenant stopped by to view the apartment this evening.  That sort of brought everything home: it’s time to get a move on.

I mentioned back in Finances, Finances that the landlord’s management company gave me three options for leaving my apartment: find a new tenant, sublet the  apartment, or just leave but forfeit my security deposit.  I decided that I just can’t give up the two thousand dollar security deposit without at least attempting to find a new tenant.  I’d consider a sublettor, but that just seems fraught with complications.  And when would you find a sublet for the duration of the lease?  Typically people just want summer housing.

Within minutes of posting the ad on Craigslist, I received a response.  I also browsed the “Housing Wanted” section and hit up a post there.  Both were interested in the apartment but only one followed through.  The former was looking for a two-bedroom apartment and I explained to him that my apartment could be a two-bedroom.  The apartment below mine has the same floor plan and is set-up as a two-bedroom.  Emails flew back and forth for quite a while the other day, but then petered off.  The latter prospect did follow through and stopped by to see the apartment today.

As I sung him its praises, I started feeling a bit bittersweet about the space.  For being in Manhattan, it’s a great amount of space.  Plus there’s laundry in the basement—quite a perk in Manhattan.  I didn’t even have that when I lived in Brooklyn.  Because of where the apartment is located in Manhattan, residents are entitled to access to a small park and garden area.  I happen to live right near there too.  Times Square is a quick five-minute walk from my doorstep.  Maybe a ten-minute walk to Central Park.  In fifteen minutes I’m on Fifth Avenue, walking past Saks.  Beyond that, the apartment is quiet.  And the building allows pets.  The only drawbacks to the space (let’s ignore the bedbug fiasco for now): only one closet and one drawer, and two of the three windows look out at the building next-door—as in, I could reach out the window and touch the side of the next building.  But the third window lets light into the entire apartment.

So, yeah . . . it’s a great little space.  And I’m sure I’ll feel heartstrings tugged when I look the apartment over one last time.  Hell, I’m feeling them a bit now.  But honestly—it is time to move.  I’ve never had one apartment house so many bad moments.  A line from  The Help by Kathryn Stockett struck me the other day while reading at work: “I wash my hands, wonder how an awful day could turn even worse.  It seems like at some point you’d just run out of awful.”  I think I just ran out of awful myself with this apartment.  I signed the lease the same week I got laid-off.  Hours after moving in bedbugs surfaced.  I spent the next four months panicked by that situation, washing, cleaning, caulking, scrubbing, painting, and so on—all detailed back in It Just Bugs Me.

After a few months passed, I started working for free as a pro bono prosecutor at a local DA’s office in New York.  A great experience, but one fraught with fairly long hours—till roughly 7pm each night—and no pay.  And certainly no praise.  I did that for roughly six months before I realized they wouldn’t be hiring and so I was looking at the end of my time in New York if nothing came through.

So, as a safety net, I studied and sat for the Pennsylvania bar exam, commuting nearly daily in June from Manhattan to Newark for bar prep classes.  It wasn’t fun when I did it back in 2006 for the New York bar exam, but at least I had law school colleagues around and a great guy living with me who cooked and cleaned and took care of me while I went from class, to books, to home and back again.  The second time I was alone.  And broke.  And starting bar prep classes on the last day leaving me with double the work in half the time.  Not fun.

Once I returned to New York after the bar exam, I started my life as a temp attorney while I waited to see if I passed the bar—and if things would pick up in New York.  I did pass the Pennsylvania bar exam and things didn’t really pick up in New York.  If anything, it remained steady enough to keep my head above water.  And doing that as a contract attorney has been a real treat.  The only highlight, really, in my time in the apartment has been this blog: learning more about myself, figuring out that I enjoy doing something in addition to law: selling art, working in theatre, starting to own my debt and let it go—the whole process.

And all of this was just over the past year and a half!  Tack on top of it all no friends, no lovers, very little fun, and the huge overshadowing storm cloud of debt and . . . yeah . . . I’m really ready to leave New York.

I hope this guy takes the apartment and has better luck than I with it than I ’cause I’ve just about run out of awful.  Time to get a move on.

Written by Laid-off Lawyer

May 4, 2010 at 23:03

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