A little over a year ago, my husband Andrew and I were living in downtown Atlanta, in our shabby Little Apartment That Could.
We had recently relocated from Chicago—where we'd worked an ungodly amount to pay for less than 1,000 square feet—in an effort to restore some semblance of a work-life balance. Much of the area where we lived in Atlanta was seedy, dilapidated, and unsafe—which was exactly why we could easily afford it.
But city planners eventually decided it was time to gentrify our neighborhood, and unfortunately while the city bigwigs were giving things a much-needed face-lift, our landlord got a similar idea. Slowly, neighbors in our building began receiving letters that their rent was increasing exponentially, and in January of 2015, ours came, too. Our rent was going up 30 percent.
I knew I couldn't resume a 50-hour workweek that left me with no time or energy for creative endeavors, my husband, or myself. It was essential I avoid returning to that sickly, exhausted, emotionally unpredictable person I was when most of my time was allotted to working in a windowless office.
I decided we would simply find another way.