Another long one, but hey, it's a lot of info, and people have been asking.
Ryan just signed a lease for a two-bedroom apartment. It's huge. And it has a dining room, central air, a dishwasher, a balcony off of the master bedroom, laundry in the building, and a heated garage in which we are entitled one assigned spot. (there's a visitor lot, too) It's close to the train, an amazing shopping/restaurant district, and the beach. The rent is a little less than what we pay here.
And. It is in Connecticut.
Greenwich, Connecticut, to be exact.
Now, why in the world would a couple of artsy Mets fans who have been struggling to make it in the Big Bad Apple for seven years suddenly pull up roots and relocate to Connecticut? Let's start at the very beginning.
About a year ago, Ryan's job started to get shakey. The economy was seriously effecting wealthy people's desire to redo their homes, and Ryan's boss sadly had to cut Ryan's hours to part time. (This was around the time, by the way, that a little new person came into our lives.) We struggled to make ends meet, and I eventually got a job teaching music for a certain baby education company. (It was Gymboree) That helped, for a while. My hours at Gymboree were enough to make up the difference in hours Ryan lost. Then while leading a meeting one night, (I was the manager) I mentioned to the employees that I intended to do something about our inconsistent pay. A few days later, a certain owner (her name is Mary Ann O'Neil. Fear of the name is fear of the thing itself) called me to tell me I was "not a good match for the company." Since this certain owner (Mary Ann O'Neil) had not submitted any of my paperwork, there was no record of my having worked there, and I was not entitled to unemployment. A few weeks after that, Ryan's boss told him he wasn't going to be able to keep him much longer.
Panicked (quite understandably) by the idea that we were about to have a five-month-old and no source of income, Ryan began his job search. Before long, he was offered a part-time position as a design assistant. Two days a week. In Old Greenwich, CT. But it was something. So he took it.
I will not drag you through the financial details of the last eight months. But it's been rough. Financially, physically, emotionally. The good news is that Ryan's job was very quickly increased to five days a week. The pay still isn't what it was at his old full-time job, but it's better. And, he has an artistic outlet now. This new designer respects him, has made him lead designer on a project, and has been supportive of the fact that he now has a few of his own freelance clients in the area. (a very big deal for an up-and-coming designer)
But it's still. Not. Quite. Enough,
So, why didn't I just get a job?
On March 10 I wrote an entry titled "Get a Job (Sha-Na-Na-Na) about why this was so very difficult. It outlined my job requirements which were, in a nutshell: 1. It had to be in music education 2. It had to give me autonomy 3. It had to pay at least $30 an hour 4. It had to leave time for my involvement with Momentum Rep and my church.
You prayed, God listened. I was hired about two months ago to teach Music for Aardvarks and to form a new group called Groove Glee- a glee club for second-through-fifh graders. This job meets my pay requirements, is most certainly within my field, gives me room to teach the way I know how to teach, and only involves mornings and afternoons. It begins next week.
And. It is in Larchmont, NY. Located about fifteen minutes from Old Greenwich.
So. We should definitely move there, right? I mean, Ryan has been commuting three hours round-trip EVERY DAY, (no, seriously) and pays about $23 in tolls and gas EVERY DAY (no, seriously) so obviously we should just move there.
Except. The adoption was not final yet. (more on that soon. Maybe tomorrow) We were not allowed to move. Not. Allowed. This was one of the most frustrating times in our life. We were literally trapped.
And then, last Friday, the Smith's went to court, and Miss Lily became ours forever. We are free to roam about the country. We started looking for apartments on Monday, and Ryan signed a lease today at noon. We move at the end of the month.
You prayed, God listened. This apartment is so far below market value, so perfect, we're still waiting for someone to tap us on the shoulder and tell us the whole thing has been a mistake. But we've signed a lease. It's ours.
So. What does this mean for you?
If you are a Momentum Rep or Glad Tidings friend:
Absolutely nothing :) My commute into the city will be faster. 51 minutes on the Metro North. True, it's more expensive than the subway, but it runs on a schedule and is still less than what Ryan was paying to commute every single day. And it will be a little more expensive for you to come and visit us but 1- Greenwich is way cooler than Forest Hills. I mean, there's a beach and awesome shops, and 2- come on. How often did you visit us anyway?
If you are my Dad:
Congratulations. We now live way closer to you. An hour and 52 minutes on I-95, no city traffic or tolls.
If you are a voice student:
No worries, I'll come into the city and rent studio space once a week or so.
If you are an outer-burrough or Long Island friend:
OK. That's far. Meet you in the city? Or you could still take Metro North... Did I mention how cool Greenwich is? And that there's a beach?
And that's our story. I better get packing.