As I prepared to move to Colorado, basically everyone, including the voice of doubt inside my head, said the same thing, which boiled down to: Good luck affording it!
How many versions of this did I hear?
It’s expensive as hell out there!
Hope you have a job lined up!
Good luck paying for rent, bud!
It freaked me out, especially because my jaunts through Craigslist indicated veracity to these claims. Yes, property values are extremely high along the Front Range, and unless the mountains suddenly crumble, that’s only going to increase. I saw rent in Boulder going for $800 with like seven people living in a two-bedroom place. I figured I’d be lucky to find a closet I could afford. Needless to say, this caused a lot of stress.
But this moment, two days before my final day at Raisin’ Roots Farm, I am pleased that I have found a place to live in Fort Collins.
It’s about three miles from Raisin’ Roots farm, west of town, where horses graze in large fields new developments have not invaded. It’s about as close to the Front Range as places get in this town. What that means is every time I walk outside, I will simply have to turn right and I will be staring at the old Rocky Mountains. Every day, I will let them remind me how freaking incredible this place is.
To top off the location, I will not be living in a closet. In fact, I will have my own bedroom. There’s a very big kitchen. There is heating. The electricity and plumbing work. And you know how much it’ll cost?
$275 a month.
That’s over three times cheaper than what I paid for three years in Kansas City.
But I had my own space in KC. And now I will be living with people. But as it turns out, the people I’m living with are fantastic.We’ve explored Rocky Mountain National Park, done archery, and wandered aimlessly together. I’m living with a great young couple with very open minds and endless enthusiasm for exploration, and recently, we brought in a dude who WWOOFed at Raisin’ Roots, meaning that in May, he slept in the very same bed where I’ve slept that past two months. The thing is, the couple we’re living with–who had the place lined up–met us independently of each other. Some strange cosmic stuff seems to be going on. How wild!
Things work out in such funny ways. This all just sort of happened. Here’s how.
My first Saturday in Fort Collins, I strolled to the Farmer’s Market to check out Raisin’ Roots’ stand. The market was bumping with music and activity. I got drawn in to a few stands but didn’t feel strong connections to the folks. One stand, however, attracted me with its highly energetic people working. I got to talking with a short, strong brunette girl at the booth about podcasting, and it turned out she was looking to start one quite similar to the new one I’m starting, which will be called—Surprise!—”Alternate Pathways”.
Amid our spontaneous and exuberant convo, I told her I was new to town with no plans beyond my two months at Raisin’ Roots. Moments later, a sweet blonde girl who also worked at the stand popped out of nowhere and said, “Are you looking for a place to live?”
“Yeah,” I said.
She replied, “My boyfriend and I may be looking for a new roommate! Let’s exchange contact info.” We stayed in touch, hung out several times over the last month and a half, and voila! They liked me, I liked them, and now with the addition of the final ex-Raisin’-Roots-WWOOFer to complete the Quantum loop, we now have a complete housing unit in a fantastic location. No Craigslist. No hosteling. Just meeting people and letting something organic grow.
Here’s a bit of advice. If you’re ever looking to live in a small place shared with three other people, live in an RV for two months. Make sure there are several nights below freezing where you wake up with a numb nose. Then, the new situation is going to sound like a palace.
I couldn’t be more stoked. I can hardly believe how well it’s worked out. Another good bit of news is that I got a job as well.
It took three rounds of interviews to get the gig. I will elaborate on it more soon as things become embedded.
Once again, the lesson is clear:
Don’t define your future by expectations set by others.
That includes popular opinion, as reflected through the media or those closest to you. Your future is yours to define. Express what you want from life with confidence, and be open to surprising developments. Unexpected realities will come to be. All you have to do is recognize them and embrace them.