Renting in Neverland

“If growing up means it would be beneath my dignity to climb a tree, I’ll never grow up, never grow up, never grow up! Not me!”

I moved to Orlando full-time in December of 1996. I rented a small 1 bedroom apartment for about $500 a month, which was good, because I was only making $6.10 an hour.

This was the first apartment I rented in Neverland.

“There is a saying in the Neverland that, every time you breathe, a grown-up dies.”

I moved to Florida after college, not knowing what I was going to do with my life, stuck between childhood and adulthood, surrounded by pirates and mermaids. I rented apartment after apartment, looking for good deals in convenient places.

Orlando is a neverland, as I’m sure many other places in the world are. People are constantly going, moving, flying, never settling, never landing.

I stumbled into a career – one could question how grown up of a career it is.

“I’m a little bird that has broken out of the egg.”

Eventually, I began to grow up, little by little, breaking out of the egg, and not stopping there. I got married. I had my own child. I got divorced.

But I continued renting in Neverland. My roots remained shallow. The cost of renting went up. The last apartment was a two bedroom for $912. And that was a good deal.

“Dreams do come true, if only we wish hard enough. You can have anything in life if only you will sacrifice everything else for it.”

And now, feeling very grown-up, I am looking at houses. And like the house built for Wendy, they are houses made of roots. Family is here. Career is here. Friends are here.

It’s a crazy process. I still feel very much the child, though, grown up at the same time. Hopefully, I won’t have to sacrifice everything for this.

But it feels good to be buying in Neverland, and growing roots in Neverland.

I still will never grow up. Not me!

All quotes by JM Barrie (Peter Pan)

12 responses to “Renting in Neverland

  1. have you been reading Peter Pan to Alexander? my kids went crazy for it. sometimes they call each other “you silly ass!” pure joy.
    good luck with house hunting!!

    • Thanks!

      I’ve not read it to him recently – when he was younger I did. It’s on his shelf, though.

      He’s been overexposed to Peter Pan, here in Orlando. It’s pretty ingrained in my psyche, too.

  2. what a cute little post!!! We just bought our first house, and I’ve been a renter since I was 18. It feels….calming to have a HOME.

    • Thanks, Alena. Calming would be good. 🙂

      • What a great post. Aside from being well-written, this is a topic that I, too, have been dwelling on since I first considered moving back to Orlando. While it seems like everything is constantly moving and changing there, putting down real roots sounds kind of wonderful. Best of luck!

        • Thanks, Leah.

          Don’t get me wrong – I’ve enjoyed my life in Orlando with shallow roots. It’s good times – and leaves the world open for opportunities. Flexibility is a strength of mine.

          But this seems like a good time and a good opportunity. 🙂

  3. OMG i probably will never buy a house again!
    well not to LIVE in
    but that is just me!

    just saying, it wasn’t what i thought it would be
    i hope you get a killer deal!

  4. Love this post and can absolutely relate. My husband and I have been completed uprooted for the past two years *since we got married. awesome*. And it is an amazing, crazy, and scary thing to finally be settling somewhere and feeling like real adults.

    I’m not sure I’m ready. I think I’d rather drink more Blue Hose Juice and pretend like I’m 21. Well, with a baby because I wouldn’t give this little guy up for anything.

  5. You’re a great writer, Matt! I loved this blog. And good luck on finding a house! No need to grow up…it’s overrated. 🙂

  6. Pingback: New Year Meme | Random Acts of Coffee

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