Sunday, June 13, 2010

Kind of Freaky

As you may know, a couple of years ago I moved back home to house sit for my parents while they served a mission in Paraguay. But before I did I lived with a good friend in this (picture above) apartment complex. The complex is positioned sideways so that the side of the building is facing the street. We lived on the first floor almost at the end, which was great because we didn't have any street noise. When I moved my former roommate, Sarah, moved out as well and got her own apartment. Well... she called me the other night to tell me that she heard that our old apartment building burned down! WHAT!?!? We went on the Internet and found an article about the fire and sure enough, it was in the building we had lived in just 2 years ago and the article said that 8 of the 12 apartments in the complex are uninhabitable! HELLO!?!?!? So she drove by the next day and took this picture. Unfortunately, you can't see much of the damage except for the roof that is partially caved in and some windows on the 2nd floor that are boarded up. In this picture you can't see the back porch of my old apartment because the white truck is in the driveway and blocking the view. But you can see that a fence has been put up to keep people from walking down the right side of the building, which is how you get to the front doors of each apartment.
How crazy is that?!?! Sarah and I were kind of in shock wondering if we still would have been living there if I hadn't moved home to house sit. We loved living there and aside from my being laid off last year, there really wasn't any reason or desire to move. My heart goes out to my former neighbors who still lived there at the time of the fire. No one was hurt, thankfully, but so much was lost. I don't think I could have handled going through something like that. I have often wondered what I would do if I lost everything I own. On the one hand it is just stuff. But I'm pretty good at not holding on to junk and unnecessary things. The things I do keep are essential to daily living or hold special meaning and memories. It would mean a lot of heartache to lose some of the keepsakes I have and I don't need any more heartache than I already have. I mean, let's face it, I don't have the greatest love life. Heartache is all I really know when it comes to that... but I digress. This is not an homage to my sad, pathetic love life. I'll save that for another day.
Thinking about whether or not I could have still been living in Palo Alto and been a victim of this fire got me thinking about how one seemingly small and simple change can make a huge difference in the next stages of my life. I'll be the first to admit that I was very worried about moving back "home". I don't like to move backwards. I prefer moving forwards, doing something different, exciting and new. Moving home was moving back to somewhere I had already lived, on more than one occasion. But so many great things have come into my life because of it. Because I've been living at my parent's house essentially rent free, I didn't have to panic and stress out when I first learned that I could lose my job. Granted, there was the initial "Holy Crap!!!" freak out, but I was calm knowing that I would be able to manage financially. Then there was the decision to go back to school for a master's degree. I've been mulling over the idea for years, but the thought of giving up a lucrative career wasn't appealing to me. Being laid off gave me the push or the go ahead to continue my education. And also, not having a job has allowed me for the first time in my life to focus solely on my health and to be in this particular part of the Bay Area, to join the specific gym I joined and be paired up with the specific trainer I have. It's no coincidence that EJ is my trainer, which he agrees with and has told me on more than one occasion. Aren't we told in the gospel that we are blessed with certain talents to help other people? Well, he is gifted and very good at what he does and is teaching me so I can literally save my life. I may not have the life that when I was younger I had hoped for. But this much I do know. Heavenly Father knows what we need and where we need to be, and if we ask Him and listen to Him and move forward with the things He wants us to do (even when it makes no logical sense!!!), we will be right where we are supposed to be. And maybe even saved from having to endure an apartment fire.

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