I wish I could be writing and performing music more. Or working on any number of other creative projects I've had in mind for years (really, since I moved to NYC in 2009) -- a non-fiction book I drafted up a couple years ago, an orchestral piece that I'm arranging for guitar quartet, more music videos for the songs from Heliotropism, a screenplay that I started writing in June...
I haven't gone busking or dumpster diving in months, either.
So what am I doing? It stresses me out just thinking about it, haha. But maybe it will help for me to type it all out and release it into the world, in hopes that your thoughts, prayers, and support will be a comfort to me :)
Let's start with my engagement in March. Ever since that wonderful night in Harlem, I've been tortuously planning my wedding, scheduled for a picturesque sunset on a Florida beach. I'm sure it will be beautiful, magical, and all the rest. But in the mean time, there's still a ton to do... and it's only 45 days away!
And while we've done all we can to keep the wedding affordable, there's just no escaping it -- weddings are expensive. So over the summer, my fiancé (code name Meeko) and I both started working two jobs. She's now a full time nanny and freelance baker, while I picked up a part-time day job and am teaching music lessons out of my apartment in Harlem. By God's grace and provision, we now have decent revenue coming in.
Unfortunately, this has not proved very helpful in the apartment search.
That's right -- we're also on the hunt for a new apartment in NYC, our first home together.
While our income is actually pretty good, very little of it is on the books. Our credit isn't stellar, we don't have a guarantor, and we only have so much cash on hand right now (remember, we're also planning a wedding!). And to make matters much much worse, I was in housing court as recently as last month for a nonpayment case that started way back in January.
That's right -- I withheld rent for the first nine months of 2014 because my landlord was completely negligent and unresponsive to serious hazards in my apartment. Thankfully, the building was bought by a new management company early last month and we were able to settle the issue within just a couple weeks. So quickly, in fact, that things were all squared away well before my final court appearance with the old management company, wherein the case was finally dropped by all parties. Old management wanted to waste mine and the courts time by prolonging the case further, but the judge pretty brutally denied them, since they no longer owned my building (what more could they possibly want from me??? UUUUGH!!!)
I was so happy that these matters were finally settled that I recorded this short video at the courthouse.
Despite all the marks against us, Meeko and I have put a lot of work into finding apartments for a November move-in (we do have to live somewhere, after all). We've tracked down a bunch of different leads and haggled with different brokers. To be sure, it's not been easy. But we finally decided last night that we will wait to move until December, after our wedding and honeymoon. Thus, the apartment hunt will move to the back burner while we focus on wedding plans and we'll pick it up again some time next month.
Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers, as we work so very hard and press into this new season. We've come to expect, I think, that things will not be easy before, during, or after the wedding, but we find comfort in knowing that we have awesome community to bear the burdens with us!
I'll also get back to my creative pursuits soon enough and keep you posted.
In the mean time, catch some of my photography at the Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance Selfless Selfies exhibit in Washington Heights, opening tonight!