The Garden Solaris

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I peered out from my glass of whiskey and onto the tarmac at the Boeing 737 and to the flight crew below as they prepared the aircraft for its next flight. As the announcement came over the loudspeaker that boarding had begun, I swallowed the rest of my shot and twisted up my face for a brief second as I felt it heat up the back of my throat and bloom inside my chest.

In 3 hours I'd be in Phoenix and out of the rain that had been plaguing Minneapolis for weeks. The plan was to second shoot a wedding with my friend Brookklyn and to look for apartments while there for my upcoming move.

I'd imagined a week of giddiness and excitement, of dreaming and magic and sunshine as I hunted for my new home but instead, I found myself feeling rushed and panicked trying to make a decision. Even the rain seemed to have followed me to Phoenix. The delight I should have been experiencing picking out my first out-of-state apartment was quickly trumped by feeling utterly overwhelmed.

I toured a lot of places and thankfully my sidekick Brookklyn was there for most of them to offer encouragement and laughter throughout the whole experience. I think she sensed my jitters and anxieties.


On Monday, I went to bed with a heaviness on my chest after a full days search left me no closer to my goal than when I'd started. I lied on Brookklyn's couch and felt the tears forming in the corners of my eyes. Once that first tear broke free, I knew the rest would follow in an unbroken stream, and so I took a deep breath, and I closed my eyes.

Just breath...

I kept repeating to myself.

I sat there on the couch holding back the tears and found myself scrolling through social media when I came across a quote that simply read;

"I can’t give it to you if you don’t tell me.Love,The Universe"

And then it hit me that I'd never explicitly told the universe what I wanted. As a kid, I can remember driving around downtown St. Paul with my mom and every time it came time to park she'd thank the universe for a front row parking space. Before we'd even start searching, she'd already had the feeling of gratitude for having found the perfect spot. And somehow, we always did.

I'll never forget that. And so I decided to be specific with the universe in what I wanted and to hold onto that feeling of gratitude for it already coming through and providing it.

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Yesterday, I felt that tug from the universe when I toured the very first complex on my list for the day. It was charming, reasonably priced, the perfect layout and size...I starred at my reflection in the bathroom vanity and could imagine myself getting ready there. I could picture myself making meals in the newly renovated kitchen and hanging out on the front patio with my coffee and journal in hand.

As we toured the grounds, we walked past the outdoor pools, the yoga terrace which offered free weekly outdoor yoga classes and the community garden where you could grow and pick your vegetables and even say hi to the resident tortoise.

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I fell in love, to say the least, but the only problem with this perfect little apartment was that it wouldn't be ready until December, pushing my move out another full month. But after visiting all the other apartment homes and seeing all the other amenities that were out there, my mind kept coming back to the studio with the garden. The garden that reminded me of the one my mom and I planted back home before she passed away and all the summers we shared tending it.

I'd been searching all along for a feeling. And I found it in garden Solaris off west Camelback Road--that feeling of home.

After sleeping on it, I woke on my last day in Phoenix, before I flew out to Chicago on the red-eye and knew I wanted to apply. The kinks to my original plan could be worked out, and I could endure another blisteringly cold Minneapolis November.

And so, I applied. And now...I wait. Wait for what's next and trust that the universe was listening!

Keep your fingers crossed!!