There was a time in my life where eviction notices where a part of the daily routine of paying rent. My first experience with eviction was when my mother, ever so gently told me “there are too many adults living in this house, and since you are the one who doesn’t want to pay bills, you have to go!” Now in her defense let me set the scene. I was 19 years old, pregnant, and didn’t even want to pay her $50 a month to stay at home (yeah, I was tripping, sorry mama). My grandmother called my mom crying asking for me to stay and my dad really didn’t want me to go, but my mama’s nickname is “The Warden” and she don’t play. So off to an efficiency apartment 7 blocks from my childhood home I went (with my baby daddy). Yes, ladies and gents my mama evicted me with a look that said “you will thank me later”. I do thank her and I can say I have lived on my own ever since. That time in my life was full of eviction notices because I was young, hard-headed and not wise with my money. But, thank God I never had my things thrown out on the curb; just a sheriff’s knock on my door.
Needless to say, I have experience with evictions. But I am at a time in my life where I am now providing the eviction notices. I am now serving notice to those people, places and things in my life that no longer pay rent to occupy space in my heart or head. The process to getting someone out of a house/apartment is the same as getting someone out of your personal space.
- Give Notice. We do have to allow people a certain level of grace if we want to receive the same level of grace from others. However, that does not mean being a dumping ground for their stuff. Staying at a table where “love” is no longer being served is a very one-sided relationship. Make it known the cost that is paid for being in or out of your life. If people decide not to pay up, move on to step 2.
- Journal/Write A Letter. Once you decide to move to this step, you need to put it in writing. Writing about it is not for the benefit of the tenant, but more so for you. Writing is cathartic. Putting things in writing allows for an uninterrupted one-sided conversation. Your words flow from an authentic place of how you feel, think and believe without interruption or explanation.
- Serve Them. This should be in person. Let the tenant know what happens to people in your life who occupy space but never pay rent. This should not be a long drawn out soliloquy or dissertation. Short. Sweet. Straight no chaser.
- Allow Time. Going back to the issue of grace. We should allow people a chance (not too many) to pay up. Be it with a sincere apology. An admission of guilt with a want to be different in your life. Something that shows in words and deeds that I know better, so I need to do better. However, just like with an eviction notice it should take no longer than 10 days. You want to have enough time to move better tenants in. Removing negative nouns and replacing them with positive places, people and things is essential to your livelihood.
- Like Martin, Get To Steppin’. If after the 10 day grace period the tenant has not paid up. Eviction takes place. No if, ands, buts or maybes. Gotta Go! Bye! Bye! See ya later! Catch ya on the flip side!
See it’s that simple. If someone or something no longer serves the purpose it was intended for, do it like Elsa…..
After all is said and done, go look in the mirror and give yourself the look my mama gave me on that warm October day she put me out. You will thank me later.