• Alyssa Piperis

End of an Era: A Second Job, A Hunt for Roommates & A Ball of Stress

I’ve sat down to write this post a couple different times but couldn’t finish it. I either couldn’t get my thoughts out properly or I got tired, so here I am again…

I just put my holy grail chlorophyll face mask on, am sipping some golden milk (hot almond milk + turmeric + cinnamon) that I just whipped up, and I’m tryna throw some thoughts and feelings out onto my little slice of the Internet before I begin my third crazy busy week in a row. It feels like this crazy busyness might be my life for a while.

I’m not exactly sure where to begin, but I feel like I’m currently at the end of an era and about to start a new chapter of my life. I just started a second serving job and am on a desperate hunt to find new roommates as soon as possible.

Let me explain it all…

The second job:

Last month was the first month since I’ve been paying my own rent (about two years now; I started paying my own rent at 22) that I needed to ask for help from one of my parents. My mom always tells me she’s happy to help me out money-wise, but I always kind of push that idea away, because it’s important for me to be able to make my own living, especially because I moved 3,000 miles away from home—my wealthy suburban town where basically everyone goes straight to a four-year university after high school and then moves to NYC to be a working professional—at 18 to chase my creative dreams in Los Angeles. Buuuut, summer nights are hit or miss at the restaurant i’ve been at for three years with lots of people traveling and kids in camp. Last month was rough for me, and I didn’t have money to pay rent for the first time, so my mom helped me out. I kinda had this realization that I didn’t want to be in that situation again. While there’s nothing wrong with struggling sometimes and asking for help when you need it, I want to know I can survive on my own and that I have more than just “enough to get by.” And it’s not necessarily like I only have enough to get by, but sometimes it feels like that. There are months when I don’t have to worry about taking pilates classes or making stops at Whole Foods or doing a little shopping at the mall, but then there’s months when I feel like I can’t do anything except work, buy select groceries, and get $10 worth of gas at a time. I want to be able to treat myself more and go on trips and, soon enough, get out of the country and explore the world. Allll that being said, I decided to look for a second job. I was looking for either a front desk job at a gym or fitness studio, or another serving job. I wasn't even set on getting a second job for sure, but in my searching around I ended up applying for a job at a sushi restaurant. I went in for an interview about two days later and started training about six days after the date I applied. The same week I interviewed for and accepted that job, my living situation got flipped upside down. Which leads me to…

The roommate search:

The week I decided to get a second job (about two weeks ago now), my roommate of four years, who’s been one of my best friends since we first moved in together, decided she needs a change (she’s lived in our apartment about two years longer than I have) and is going to be moving out (which means I’ll no longer be living with her cat, aka my little homie, aka that might be the saddest part of all of this). This started a domino effect, and my other roommate decided to look for her own place since she has a better-paying job than she did when she first moved in and wants to be closer to work so she doesn’t go insane in LA traffic after a long day dealing with entertainment biz folks. Aaaand our landlord took their notices to vacate as an excuse to raise the rent over 17%. So now I’m stuck trying to find two new roommates for my significantly-more-expensive apartment, and the landlord can legally show the unit even though I’m still living here and plan to stay, and if she finds three brand new tenants before I find two additional ones to join me, I can be kicked out…even though I’m actively looking for people and showing the unit.

Sooooo, that’s fun! Last week I was dealing with all this back-and-forth with my landlord while going through all-day training days at my new job and running from one serving job to the other. Luckily, I’m a very calm, low-stress person by nature, but I’m admittedly stressed right now. I was in the middle of a super busy night at work last week and got a confusing email from my landlord, and I almost started crying in the kitchen. That’s where I’m at.

I know everything will be okay, but I just feel like there’s so much weighing on me right now. I genuinely love and appreciate being single in a way I didn’t even understand was possible up until recently, but it’s these kinds of stressful situations that make me think, A big ole hug from someone I love at the end of a long, tough day would be really damn nice. I think back to my last relationship and how my ex and I were on such opposite schedules, so there were some nights I’d be home and he would be running from his 9-5 to a comedy open mic, and he’d stop over my apartment in the in-between time for a quick kiss or two or ten. That kinda cute shit sounds very appealing on weeks like this.

AND in addition to all that, my paternal grandma, aka my last living grandparent, turns 90 next month. My cousin rented out a venue and is throwing her a 90th birthday party, and I thought I’d definitely be going home for that, but now I can’t finalize anything until my living situation is set. So that’s a huge point of frustration right now. I have that to think about, as well as a bachelorette party and a wedding in the next two months, and I just hope the next week or two brings clarity re: the living situation. All I want is to find two definite roommates that feel like the right fits, book a flight home to surprise my grandma, have a freakin’ blast during the bachelorette weekend late September, and have another freakin’ blast in the desert during the wedding weekend in October. I don’t want to have to worry about so much leading up to these events that are supposed to be super exciting, and now I don’t even know if I’ll get to go home for my grandma’s birthday. Crossing my fingers everything works out in time for me to book a flight home!

Alllll that being said, even though I’m stressed and don’t know when things will die down, I feel like this is all a blessing in disguise. I think I’ve been in need of a change, because I’ve gotten comfortable for the most part. Although I don’t work a 9-5, and what I do day to day varies, there’s still been somewhat of a routine to my life for a while. I generally work nights three to five times a week, work out three to seven times a week, run errands, meal prep, film self-tape acting auditions or go to in-person auditions, watch my (mostly) Monday and Tuesday night shows, hang out with friends, and go on dates. And these last couple weeks I’ve barely had time to work out, run errands, meal prep, submit to or go on auditions, etc. And now my work schedule is different with the addition of the new job, so I don’t have all my days open anymore like I did for so long. My bank account is rapidly growing, but I’ve barely had time for myself. I have to prioritize and designate time to work out and audition and go to a cafe to read and walk to the movies to relax my mind. Because these things are all important to me. Not being able to work out on days and times I normally did before has reminded me what a huge part of my life fitness has become over the last couple years. My first four years out in LA, fitness felt like a chore and I couldn’t stay motivated. Now it’s a crucial part of my life that makes me feel strong and powerful and sexy and productive. I honestly don’t know where I’d be today if I didn’t get a new gym membership two years ago and stay consistent in working out. I feel infinitely better because of my commitment to fitness and myself, and it’s helped all aspects of my life. I just need to stay focused and work hard all around but also know when I need to focus on self-care and regroup.

Okay, okay, okay! This face mask is probably gonna be hard to take off after all this time, and I have to finish up my golden milk before I can brush my teeth. I’m glad I was finally able to get this all out, because I feel like some of the weight has been lifted off me. I’m still a little stressed, but getting my feelings out and knowing tomorrow night is the big season finale of The Bachelorette (sorry not sorry) keeps me going. Time to get ready for bed and get some rest for another loooong week that’ll hopefully bring some clarity and fun in between all the work and the hunt for new roommates!

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