When life gives you lemons… or a 60 day notice

by Monica Galvan

When life gives you lemons… or a 60 day notice

It’s the end of the Memorial Day holiday weekend. I’m finally home after an hour drive and just as I bring my keys out to unlock the door, I see a sheet of folded paper taped to the glass. Immediately my heart beat rises and I wonder what’s inside.

I open the door, set down all my belongings, and unfold the paper:

“Dear Monica,
Unfortunately we have to give you notice to vacate within 60 days (by the end of the day July 27, 2016). You’ve been a great tenant and I would gladly give you a good reference. I wish you the best.”

More details followed about last month’s rent and so on but I skim right through and only see that final date.

July 27, 2016.

I have 60 days (well technically 59) to find a place to live.

(No pressure).

The five stages of change

After the initial shock wore off I threw myself into the internet, scouring sites for listings to rent within the area. Most people are excited when they’re looking for a new place to live. They want to see all the best options out there, maybe dream a little, and never settle for less. But when you’re forced to make the crucial decision of where to lay your head down at night, excitement is the last thing on your mind.

Sort of like the seven stages of grief, I went through the five stages of… change.

1. Shock

Yep that one was immediate. When such a huge event out of your control happens, you’re at a loss for where to go next.

2. Denial

For the first few days I ignored the problem altogether. Maybe the perfect place will fall from the sky. It didn’t. But that would’ve been nice.

3. Anger

There were plenty of nights I was mad, mostly at myself. How could I let this happen? Why did this have to happen now? I should’ve been proactive. The should haves were endless.

4. Depression

The blues set in big time, more so than ever before. I kept myself busy during the day but every night they’d return. Thoughts of “I don’t know what to do”, “I don’t know where to go next”, and questioning my purpose and existence in life really set in. It might sound dramatic but when your future is so suddenly ripped apart and left open, you have no idea what will come next. For two months, everything else in my life was put on hold to focus on this one task: finding a new home.

5. Acceptance and hope

It was a windy and bumpy road filled with too many email inquiries to count, endless phone calls and appointment scheduling but eventually I did find my place. And I’m proud to say I’m truly happy with where I live and it’s sparked a new excitement for life I didn’t know I had within me.

Should I stay or should I go?

All throughout the process of searching for a new place I continued to ask myself, “do I stay nearby in this town or do I venture somewhere new?”

While Santa Rosa was never a place I intended to stay for long and I’ll admit it’s not anywhere near my dream, but it played a pivotal role. For the past three years my life centered in or around Santa Rosa. But this would soon be the past.

Appreciate today

So much of life is unpredictable, you’ll never hold all the cards in one hand. My lesson in all this is to be grateful for today no matter where you are, in a second it could disappear.

Never stop shooting

This is a reminder of why photography is so important to our lives and a reason for you to never stop shooting. Whether it’s the quick but blurry image of the meal you have at your favorite local restaurant, the vibes of that cool coffeeshop downtown, a friend’s laughter, or the way the street lights twinkle and dance with the sky. You must capture these details. These everyday moments make up your life and your life is meaningful. So go out there and share it with the world.

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Originally posted on August 31, 2016 on monicagalvan.co