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Heidi Shenk

I've been MIA for over a month on this blog. It's been so long that I actually had to check to see when and what I had written last. I've been wrapped up in trying to check a lot of things off of my goals list, and it has left me a little uninspired.

Truthfully, this March was tough. It's the slowest month for me of the year, so there's a lot of down time. Normally, I use this time to prepare for Mother's Day, update listings, write blog posts, and be productive in ways that I can't always be during other times of the year. Instead, I found myself hunting for studio spaces, trying to make local connections, and feeling so drained by the aforementioned items that I had little creative energy left.

Essentially, I became so focused on achieving those two goals of mine, that I let it become an overwhelming and exhausting task. While I've been looking for studio space for over a year now, I learned quite a bit in the past month-- studio space is hard to find. Affordable studio space is even harder to find. During the past month, I've found that I'm stuck somewhere in between cheap and shitty or expensive and nice. There is no in between.

After pricing out a few studios and retail locations, we also started thinking about how we could make an expensive studio affordable. Could we sell our house and get a fixer upper in our neighborhood? Could we sell our house and buy a larger one that had a retail option on the first floor?

Five years ago, we bought our row house in an "up and coming" neighborhood. We got an amazing short sale deal, a process that turned out to be worth the ten month wait of lost paper work and other frustrations. And now, as five years have passed and our neighborhood has transitioned from "up and coming" to "hot and new," we are priced out. Not even the instant and increased equity we've earned on our home would be enough to go the fixer upper or first floor retail options we'd discussed.

Frustrations of our realization led me to new searches. What standards are considered affordable to most people? Where is the most affordable place to live in the US? Where could we move that would also mean checking off as many boxes on our list, including an affordable studio or retail space and architectural jobs for Andrew?

The reality is that we don't want to move. We love our house and we continue to make improvements and upgrades on our row house that makes us want to stay even longer. We love our neighborhood-- the park, the people, the quirky mix of old and new Baltimore. We love Baltimore-- the water, the climate, baseball games, the quirk and charm, the restaurants, festivals and events. And we love living in a city where we can bike and walk to just about anything our heart desires and take in offerings that you won't find in suburban areas.

And so here we are, at a standstill. A standstill that took most of the month of March for me to arrive at before finally giving up. And now, I'm moving on, or at least trying to. I'm trying to put all of this on the back burner and focus my energy somewhere else. It's hard to do when I have dreams and plans for what I'd like to accomplish in my life, but maybe patience is a better option at the moment.

Do you ever feel stuck in your current phase of life? Have you ever had to move in order to make other dreams and goals a reality?

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