My search for affordable housing in one of the most expensive and desirable cities in the world rages on. I'm currently living in The Mission at a temporary sublet until the end of April. I feel like a broken record because I've been on the move since I got here nearly a year ago. However, I wasn't searching for a long–term place up until I got my full–time job a few short weeks ago.
I should mention that what I am looking for is essentially a room in a house or flat with housemates who have their own rooms, but we share a kitchen, bathroom, and other common areas. This type of living situation is ubiquitous in San Francisco. You can see why people would be highly selective when picking someone they will be sharing a house with for the foreseeable future. These people often become your friends and, in some cases, like family.
I think I've seen around five or six places over the past several weeks. The “interviews” always seem to go well, but I haven't gotten any offers for places I liked. It should also be known that I am searching for a more central location in the city, which only adds to the difficulty.
If there's one thing I learned from the job search, it's that persistence pays off. You have to be persistent not only to get what you want, but just to figure out what exactly it is you are looking for. As you understand more about what your target is, you can adjust your approach to increase your chance of success. There's a lot of strategy involved.
Many of us start out searching for something with a “shotgun–style” approach. We blindly shoot a spray of bullets, hoping some of them will hit the target, adjusting our stance as we find success. When we eventually learn how to aim, we upgrade to a rifle, which is a more precise weapon. We become more focused, accurate, and lethal in our hunt, giving us a higher rate of success.
I've come to realize just how much of life is about searching. Whether we are searching for jobs, housing, spouses, friends, or purpose, the same principles apply. It's ironic that by searching for these things, we find ourselves. It's a painstaking, yet beautiful phenomenon.