Confession. I Feel STUCK And I Hope I’m Not Alone Here

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I always joke around and say that I’m going to literally die in my apartment alone. Yes, it’s a joke but it actually feels a little real to me at times. I’ve been living in my place since college. I remember moving in a month before I turned 21 and as I type that out I realize how much my life and this neighborhood has changed since then. I was so excited to have a space of my own and never really thought how long I’d actually live here.  Now nearly 11 years later I’m still here. Albeit, the entire place has been renovated so it technically looks entirely different. But, I’m still here. And it kind of freaks me out.

I continue to have this recurring dream that this place isn’t mine.

The dream continues on that I’m really living at my parents in the suburbs because I can’t afford to live anywhere else. I end up looking for apartments and realize I have no money in the bank to afford it. It’s horrifying. I’d actually call it a nightmare, yes that’s exactly what it is, a nightmare. I wake up from this nightmare often looking around my apartment frantically to make sure I’m really here and not in my parent’s home. It’s been happening more often this nightmare, so it’s starting to concern me a bit, ha!

This dream likely happens often because I am so vocal about being stuck here. You’re probably thinking, Jessica, just move. Sell it, go somewhere else. But here’s the thing, financially I kind of am stuck.  I moved into this place when the housing market was on the major decline. And Buckhead, the cute, safe neighborhood, was really one of the few places to live as a young adult 10 years ago.

Now fast forward a decade and there are amazing neighborhoods in Atlanta popping up or growing significantly. Like Grant Park, where these photos were taken and one of my favorite up and coming hoods. Then there’s Inman Park, where my best friend lives and we hang out there often. Also, Midtown, which is just a few blocks from Piedmont Park and a great spot to call home.

All places I’d LOVE to move to. But guess what?

They’re EXPENSIVE AS FUCK. As in, a small dumpy studio apartment goes for $1,500+ which is on the cheaper side, to be honest. A house that needs to be fully renovated, starts at three times the price of mine and looks a fraction of the way I’d ever want it to look. So yes, I kind of am stuck. I could move to the suburbs…. but that’s not happening, period.

I’m sharing all of this because I’m hoping I’m not alone here.

Lots of life changes with friends are happening now too. From friends getting married to buying their first homes and more. Personally, I think this is probably where the stress and pressure to change is coming from.  I know I’m fortunate to have a roof over my head and have countless blessings from a great family, friends and a career I created on my own. I’m the first to say, my life rules and I’m beyond lucky. But sometimes it’s hard to not focus on this one thing because it’s a constant thread in my life.

From when I visit new coffee shops in other neighborhoods like Full Commission in Grant Park, to seeing my friend’s spacious homes and backyards for their dogs, to my small open office area overflowing with items for projects. I’m constantly reminded that I am STILL in this apartment and there’s no change in the near future.

How To Move Past It

Have you ever felt stuck before? How do you get around it or move through it? A few things I’m going to try to do to STOP dwelling on something I can’t change at the moment are to rediscover things about my neighborhood that I love. And maybe decluttering my home so it doesn’t feel so packed and like I NEED more space. I actually did this over the weekend quite a bit and it definitely allows for a more tranquil home. And lastly, reminding myself when this does happen that it is temporary and that life is pretty amazing regardless. Plus, if this is the ONE thing I compare myself on, then so be it. Life is good and I am grateful for that.

PS this post was SUPPOSED to go a little differently. I love this new coffee shop Full Commission in Grant Park and wanted to chat about how much I love this neighborhood. Somehow it turned into a full-blown diary post. A  part of me wanted to delete and start fresh, but the other part of me thought, maybe just publish it. Maybe someone else can relate or needs a reminder that life is good and big changes can wait.

There doesn’t have to be an expectation to have a bigger home, or a backyard by a certain age. And that’s the part I need to keep reminding myself.  Because no one HAS to be married by a certain age (or married at all, being single is kind of amazing) and no one has to have their dream home by 30. Life will happen when it happens and if you can’t enjoy it in the moment, then you aren’t living.


Photos by Hannah Michelle


Jessica is an Atlanta life and style blogger. Aiming to bring practical tips to your every day life. Tips that you can easily tackle and make your life feel just a tad more 'put-together'.

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  1. 10.25.18
    Mary said:

    I love my centrally located, leafy green Buckhead neighborhood, but it is not the hippest place to live in Atlanta. I get frustrated with the lack of creative restaurants when I see them popping up everywhere south of Ponce. But I have to remind myself that Buckhead is the most convenient place for my work and for visiting my family. I really love it on the weekends when it’s less crowded with commuters and I can go to the farmers market and unique little shops scattered around. It almost feels like a small town to me in that sense. I like that the parking is free. I like that my prewar neighborhood is just as cute as anything you’d find in Virginia Highlands (but cheaper and honestly cleaner). Most of those fun new restaurants in other neighborhoods are easy to get to once or twice before they go out of business.

    • 10.25.18
      Jessica said:

      I’d love to know your favorite spots in buckhead! I need to rediscover some favorites

  2. 10.25.18
    Laura Leigh said:

    Girl I 100% can relate and appreciate your sharing this and being so real. My husband and I are in a similar situation, although we rent. We want to buy but EVERYTHING in Charlotte has become SO expensive. To truly buy something we’d love, we’d have to go pretty far out into the suburbs and we’re both just not totally sure we’re ready for that. The housing market is bananas and needs to CHILL OUT.

    xo Laura Leigh
    Louella Reese

    • 10.25.18
      Jessica said:

      So so expensive. I don’t understand it. I can move to the burbs but as a single gal, I don’t know if that’s ideal ha! Hoping you guys find a great home soon!

  3. 10.25.18

    Great post. I’m actually doing a different take on feeling stuck (more about mid life) on Friday. I think it’s great when we can share something real that’s going on with us because there are always so many others out there in the same boat.

    • 10.25.18
      Jessica said:

      I can’t wait to read it! Thanks for stopping by and reading as well

  4. 10.25.18

    Way to take a negative and turn it into a positive! Your life is great, but I feel you…you KNOW I do. Like throws you lots of curveballs and brings you down. But you’ve got to find the good, no matter what! LOVE YOU!

    Cathy, your Poor Little It Girl

    • 10.25.18
      Jessica said:

      This also means pork and I are coming over more so she can enjoy that new backyard of yours!

  5. 10.25.18
    Katie said:

    100 times yes to this! My husband and I bought our little house in Houston 10 years ago and we need so much more space now but we are living the same thing you are! We need a bigger place, we have a child now so we have to consider schools, and its just CRAZY how much more expensive it is. Plus now that we have completely remodeled we might be a little picky about what we are getting. Also, suburbs are not an option. I like the city life and I don’t want to give it up!
    Career wise too I kind of feel this way. How did you decide to start your blog and when did you know it was okay to do it full time?

    • 10.25.18
      Jessica said:

      I’m so glad I’m not alone! And 100% agree with you on renovations making it so much harder. I adore my home now that I designed it just the way I wanted making it also hard to give up at the same time.

      I need to write a post on the second part here. I started blogging 7.5 years ago and went full time over 3 years ago. You go full time when the income covers your living expenses. You don’t want to put yourself into debt over a blog!

  6. 10.25.18
    Tabitha said:

    Great post! I get it about feeling stuck and afraid you’re never going to move forward. I truly appreciate posts like this one because I feel like I can relate to you more, whereas I can’t with other bloggers because they seem so privileged. Thanks for your honesty!


  7. 10.25.18
    Rachael said:

    Yes girl! I am 100% with you all the way. I’m 26 and moved back in with my parents because (long story short) we’ve moved so much and every time I get savings, I spend it on the move and now financially I can’t afford my own place. I’m constantly worrying that I’ll either live with them FOREVER or that I’ll get some dump and be stuck there for the rest of my life. A small portion is like, “when will life begin??” Plus a lot of my friends are married/having kids/moving on up. It’s stressful to the max but your post have given me some room to breathe. It’s hard to always see the positives our life has given us, especially when we’re ambitious and what to do our best. However, you’ve written a fab reminder to keep looking at the good, stop comparing, and know that eventually it will work. I’m rooting for us!!

  8. 10.25.18
    Brittany said:

    Wow, I’m so glad you opened up about this! My husband and I still live in our tiny little house we moved into shortly after college (pre-marriage life). It’s tiny… no getting around it. And most, if not all, of our friends have moved into new neighborhoods with big, brand new houses and started having kids. We did do a major renovation last year, but we have no desire to move – no matter how jealous we get of their locations or size of home. When it comes down to it – I don’t have time to clean all those bathrooms or vacuum empty bedrooms! We don’t need excess or wasted space – we’re cozy and like it that way 🙂 Everything happens when it’s supposed to! (sorry for the rant!)

    • 10.25.18
      Jessica said:

      I like the way you look at it! Less to clean!

  9. 10.27.18
    Kathleen said:

    So I never comment on blogs. I never even read them. But for some reason I read this post and now I have to comment.

    As a young woman who moved to Midtown in 2008 and Inman Park in 2009, the “only safe place was Buckhead” comment rubbed me the wrong way. But then when describing Grant Park as “up and coming,” well, I want you to think hard about those words. Grant Park has been a vibrant residential neighborhood for CENTURIES. As has Inman Park. They just haven’t been chock full of the white affluent people that make them “hip.” And now they’re so expensive that the people who have lived there forever can’t afford to anymore. I understand that some people see positive aspects of gentrification, but please be aware of your words and your privilege when you discuss it.

    • 10.27.18
      Jessica said:

      Thank you for your comment here. I agree that saying buckhead was the only safe place is a broad generalization. And clearly there are other great places in the city. When I was that age it was common to want to move to Buckhead. I never said the neighborhoods didn’t exist, but they weren’t full of the new trendy restaurants, coffee shops and such. Which doesn’t discredit the neighborhoods at all prior to those changes, it simply shows how the areas have changed and just liked you said, has made everything more expensive.

  10. 12.27.18
    Piper LeJeune said:

    Thank you for sharing this. I’ve felt this many times before and sometimes it’s hard to put in to words. The #1 cure I’ve found has always been gratitude. Like, we all feel generally grateful but that deep down, appreciation for your life, exactly how it is. The other thing I’d say is that I’ve lived in some of those amazing cities (LA, SF). Yes, it’s very cool! But the dream is sometimes only the good stuff and doesn’t bring along with it the struggles of living there. Enjoy the dream but recognize “life stuff” is with you everywhere you go I’ve been in Atlanta for two years now and love the relationships I’ve built and the person I’ve become here. I never want to lose my ambition, but I’m so grateful to be here and for the peace I’ve found here (and to be following awesome people like you who share their realness!).

    • 12.27.18
      Jessica said:

      Thank you so much for this insight I so appreciate it! I am SO grateful for my life but those comparisons (especially around the holidays too) always seem to Creep up on occasion. Glad you found some good people in atl! It’s part of why I haven’t left just yet!

  11. 9.13.19
    Angela said:

    Houses have yards and require maintenance.

    Screw that!

    My husband and I have a lovely condo with a cute yard and go on awesome vacations and there’s no maintenance ever because everything is brand new.

    Isn’t it nice to be stress free??

    Our friends just bought a 1.7 million dollar house.

    First, neither makes that much money. They make money, but we’re not talking Doctors or anything. So it’s all on loan.

    Second, it needs so much work!!! I just thought ‘Goodluck with that!’

    She’s pregnant and she’s very very ill and had to take time off work, and her husband at dinner said ‘We are hoping she’ll go back to work full-time starting tomorrow’

    The look she gave him was PRICELESS.

    But it’s like…well…you did talk him into taking out a 1.7 MILLION dollar house loan. So…

    Yeah…it’s weird. There are A LOT of people who buy houses who then can’t really afford them.

    Be happy you aren’t one of those people.
    Loans are evil, empty McMansions you can’t renovate or furnish are shitty.

    There’s nothing wrong with staying in the same place, especially if it’s a lovely place 🙂

  12. 10.19.19
    Gina said:

    Thank you for being real. It helps.