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I learned a couple things today. Firstly, 3 bedroom/2 bath houses can be surprisingly small. Secondly, in the desert people rip out lawns and replace the grass with crushed gravel or rocks to save on water costs. Seriously, a “backyard” that looks like a giant sandbox or a small version of a sand dune is pretty much unusable.

I was close to tears about mid-afternoon. Sure, I was exhausted and sometimes when I’m tired I will literally cry over spilled milk (it’s happened at least once in my life), but it wasn’t all about lack of sleep or the long drive. I was driving all over the two towns that I’ve focused my housing search on and I hated almost every bit of what I was seeing. It’s ugly and sprawling. Like a suburb vomited across miles of dirt. It’s not rural. There are too many strip malls and too many houses to qualify it. It didn’t take long for me to start to wonder if I haven’t made a gigantic mistake accepting this job. I went so far as to imagine calling my new employer and backing out.

I kept going. Even after the dead cockroach on the bathroom floor as big as my little finger. Even after the sand pit and the rock yard. After the roads that all look the same and not at all like what I was wanting.

Then I drove to the third town and on my way I suddenly felt like I could breathe again. I thought, “this is was what I wanted.” It was the desert as I imagined it, wide open. And wouldn’t you know it, the last house I saw had an actual backyard that sold the place.

I have more places to look at tomorrow. More calls to make. More driving to do.

I can do this. I am doing this.