I had every intention of crafting and sending you an email last week. I wanted to tell you about my trip to the Philippines and the wonderful time my husband and I had visiting our son. We got home on Monday and I spent Tuesday doing laundry, grocery shopping and getting back into the swing of things. My heart was full of gratitude from our trip and I was ready to get back to work. But when I turned my phone on Wednesday morning, I had an unwelcome voicemail from my landlord.
I started my clinical nutrition practice in November of 2004. My current rental space is my 3rd and I’ve been there for 10 years. Up until last year, I was subleasing from massage therapists who occupied 3 of the rooms in a shared space. Since I’d been there so long, and had outlasted the other practitioners, the building owner/landlord asked me to sign a direct lease in 2017.
It turned out to be a messy year for the other shared spaces and the landlord hasn’t been able to keep anyone of quality in the other rooms. (First there was a crazy lady and then there was a creepy guy – ugh!) At year’s end, he said that if someone came in wanting the whole space (including my room), he would give it to them. And he didn’t renew my lease while he was waiting to see what type of inquiries he would have. There have been several false starts of potential renters who were supposed to come and share the space with me, and months of no interest at all.
In the midst of all of this, I checked the availability of rental spaces in my area on more than one occasion. I came really close to moving earlier in the year but the space I wanted was taken just as I was negotiating for it. I didn’t want to get distracted from my other important goals and projects by obsessing about my space so I stopped looking.
The voicemail I received upon my return from the Philippines said that someone was interested in the space but needed to get into my room to see if some of the walls could be removed. He wanted to know when I would be in the office so that they could bring their contractor by. While it’s being suggested that they want the whole space and that I’ll be forced out, he doesn’t directly come out and say that. And I involuntarily start to go into a stress response.
I jump on my computer as soon as possible and start looking for office space and making phone calls. Most messages aren’t returned and the few people I reach are asking more than I want to spend and/or are a less than ideal space. Then, that evening around 7:00 pm, the potential new leaser, her realtor, contractor and my landlord are all waiting outside my office as I finish up seeing clients. I can feel the involuntary adrenaline surge as they come in and start poking around. It’s SO awkward! I don’t typically have any challenges with being nice, but what do you say to a woman who is telling you how excited she is about a space you’ve been in for 10 years and are being forced out of? And the kicker is, she’s a holistic practitioner and our services would be quite complementary.
Over the next week, I hear nothing from anyone who was here that night. Then my landlord pops in during one of my client days and I finally get confirmation that he has negotiated the entire space and that I have to leave. Fortunately, my husband found a viable space online. We visited it twice and I put a deposit down the following day.
So, my story will not have a bad ending, but it’s not been fun. And my emotions have been on a roller coaster! I had no desire to vacate my current space and my predominant emotion has been irritation. I’m irritated that I am forced to move and have to spend time on something that I would rather devote to other things, that communication was unclear and I was guessing and waiting to find out my fate, that the new space isn’t 100% ideal, and that I have to come up with extra cash for a security deposit and first and last month’s rent.
I’m incredibly relieved to have found a new space within a week, especially one that fits almost all of my criteria for an ideal space. But I’m deeply sad to be leaving the space where my business has grown and thrived over the past decade.
I’ve received so much love and support from my family and friends, and hope that this experience somehow opens an exciting new chapter in my business and in my life. And I hope I can put it all behind me soon and move on, getting back to what I really want to focus on. And as such, I hope to send a more “typical” newsletter next week as things settle down.
We all have bumps in the road. I’ve worked so hard to maximize my physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health since December of 2000. I’ve come so far and am incredibly grateful for it! It’s how I can take a challenging life event and move through it with far more grace than I ever could have imagined.
I’m not quite ready to let it all go just yet. I am doing my best to honor and process my feelings and not suppress them (that’s a lesson that took WAY to long to learn)! But I do hope to be wiser and happier from this unwanted experience soon. I’ll be sure to keep you posted on how things turn out.