A First-Time Home Buyer’s Confession…

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Owning a home is pretty easy.  It’s down right smart, honestly.  It’s like putting an investment into yourself, you know?  Making sure that you have something to show for your hard earned money. AND, it’s relatively cheap, I mean, when you compare it to renting.  You can do anything your little HGTV inspired mind will let you.  You own it! Live it up!

So why do I feel like owning a home isn’t for me?

Being a homeowner for the past 3+ years has had it’s ups and downs.  More ups than downs honestly, but over the past year or two I’ve had this feeling that I was ready for something different (I get like this a lot).  Earlier this year, I was in the process of trying to figure out my next career move.  Along with this came the thought of if this career move would include an actual MOVE move.  It was basically because I didn’t know if I wanted to live in Charlotte anymore.  I’ve gotten into a mood that it was time for me to spread my wings and be a part of another experience.  As much as I love it here (I mean, I have a tattoo of the skyline), I felt like my time was up.  It’s a part of my personality where I tend to get bored and I start to feel complacent.  It affects my mood, and eventually starts to effect my life socially and professionally.  So as I contemplated about the next stage of my life, I could only ask myself, would I end up staying in this same area and grow my professional career in a city I’ve grown to love but essentially have outgrown, or do I make a change now.

There is also this other thing…

Over the past 3+years of owning a home, I’ve yet to feel like I was “home”.  Is this something I’ve done subconsciously to ensure that I don’t get too comfortable and keep myself constantly on the go? Who knows.  My home was OK though.  It was somewhere I slept and chilled out, but never really felt homey.  I don’t know if “homey” is even a feeling that I’ve ever really felt in my home.  My house first felt more like a home thanks to my old roommate who helped rid the extra bedroom of silence.  I mean, my house is pretty bland.  No colored paint on the walls, no pictures up anywhere that actually mean anything.  I didn’t do many projects to make the place look better.  It’s just a dwelling that I decided to buy because I thought that’s what you were supposed to do.

Not owning a home isn’t bad…

I’ve come to realize that my personality and buying a home, isn’t really a match made in heaven. For someone who tends to get a new car every 3 to 4 years,  switch jobs about that often as well (not companies, jobs).  I like to think that I’m an ambitious fellow, and that this type of ambition, shouldn’t be tied down. Or maybe I just don’t want to be in the same spot for too long, who knows?  And for the longest, living here in Charlotte, in my wonderful 2 bedroom, 2.5 bath townhome next to the nicest neighbors I’ve ever had in life, was a great experience. But I think that this experience was only for a season, because something was missing.  Maybe it’s the fact that I lived out in the surburbs of Charlotte, without a family, and that living closer to the city is probably what I really needed.  But I did live in the city right before moving to the suburbs, so maybe moving was a mistake, or maybe I just needed a change of pace at that time, and now I need a change of pace again.  Luckily, my company, that I LOVE to work for had an opportunity I could not let slide by me and I am ever grateful that I am able to start my next journey in life because of them.

Adulting is hard folks.  You never know if you’ve made the right decision for yourself until you go and do it.  Listen to your friends, take in their advice but you won’t know how to deal with life until that hurdle comes rushing towards you in that moment.  Then and only then will you realize what you have to do.

So yeah, while I have enjoyed owning a home, and having a place to call my own, I don’t think a traditional home is made for me.  Maybe a condo in a city built like a big community is what I need.  Maybe we’ll find out when I move to DC in two months.  Only time will tell, and I’m so ready for this next adventure. Maybe a little hesitant at first, but I’ll eventually get going at my own pace.

 

 

I have become that person…but how?

I spent a lot of time with friends yesterday. A group of friends for brunch and then another friend stopped by to chat for a bit. That’s what adults do right? Eat brunch and chat? How did I get here?

Those two conversations were filled with lots of catching up and discussion of future plans as most conversations are. I’ve had similar conversations with all of these people multiple times because while I love them all dearly and am super close to them all I don’t see them frequently because of life and adulting. And that’s fine. We all are doing it and no one gets mad about it. I appreciate that about my friends.

At some point during both conversations though I realized, I have become that person. What person you ask? Well if your just a little patient I’ll tell!

In discussing some of my personal goals, the usual, weight loss, saving money, moving out (yep…I’m 30 years old and still live with my parents. That’s a blog for another day) came up. I’ve recently started to pick up on peoples responses to my saying I’m going to do these things. Let’s just say they aren’t good. Sometimes it’s met with laughter (thanks Dad), sometimes it’s met with harsh reminders (I thought you were on a diet) that only really serve to annoy me and trigger my stubbornness (thanks Mom), most times it’s met with slight side eye, sighs of “that’s great” with the undertone of “we’ve had this conversation plenty of times but yet here you still are” and encouragement with a hint of “there’s really no reason why you haven’t already done this you’re just lazy/content and used to this lifestyle” (thanks friends, family, coworkers, strangers). And I admit, since these are areas I am not happy with in my life, I probably read more into people’s slight shifts in tone, side eyes, eye rolls, and comments than they actually mean. And I put some of the stuff I’ve been already thinking into their comments too.

But, the realization that I have become that person, officially hit me after brunch, when my friend Michael stopped by and I told him my plan to move out and then my thoughts about potential life style changes for health purposes and both comments got a sarcastic slow clap with a “we’ll see.” A lot of people would be pissed at Michael for this response. I, however, have known Michael for going on 20 years (how did we get so old) and while he may be a self proclaimed ass hole, his intentions (towards me at least) are never to hurt or harm. We could all use a level headed, blunt, call it what it is friend…even if it bruises our ego a bit because on the flip side, Michael has always celebrated any of my successes with the fierceness of a loving brother.

So, what have my friends responses for several weeks/months/years and at brunch and Michael’s slow clap helped me to realize…I have become that person. Dear God lady what person?!?! I’ve become the person that no one actually takes serious when they set goals. The person that sets these goals and is super excited about them but somewhere down the line, and usually very quickly, falls off. It would not surprise me if my family secretly takes bets on how long I will keep up any dieting or healthy living practices. And I know for certain they do not believe me or even entertain my talks about moving out anymore. It’s as if everyone is just waiting to see if it happens but no one is holding their breath because they know the possibility of them dying in the process is high.

But how did I get here?

I’m not sure I’ve ever been a highly goal oriented person. I’ve always felt like most people have known since they were 6 what they wanted to do with their life. I literally decided I wanted to be a counselor one day while on campus my senior year of undergrad talking to a friend. I had about 3 months to get my application turned in take the necessary tests to apply. Then in grad school I felt everyone knew what population they wanted to work with. I have stumbled through the last five years finally finding a population that I absolutely love but even then had to step away from in order to be effective and not lose my own mind. Once a month, usually right before I start my period when I feel bloated and disgusting I go to bed and say “ok this is it. I’m going to get my life together.” Then I start my period, refuse to do anything that week because life is hard enough when your vagina is dying so I have all intentions of doing something when it’s over. My period ends, the bloating goes away, and while my body is far from perfect I usually catch a glimpse in the mirror before I shower one day and say “you know what, you good Ashley! If someone can’t love all of this then they don’t deserve you” and the cycle begins again. I can justify a lot of things and I ultimately refuse to shame myself for being human and doing things that humans need to do like eat, and rest, and enjoy life so as not to go crazy…but then I can justify doing these to excess which is where the problem begins.

It’s almost as if that slow clap Michael did made me connect all the dots and realize that while he’s the only person who did it outright, everyone else is probably doing it in their mind. My response to him was something along the lines of “don’t doubt me” to which he responded with something far less enlightening but similar too “I don’t doubt you can do it. I’m just waiting for it to happen.”

I know a few things about myself. One of which is that I can be really stubborn and strong willed and there is a certain level and type of negativity that I use as a driving force. It’s what caused me to give birth without an epidural, because everyone said I wouldn’t. It’s what caused me to go to college and grad school and find a career that I love, because I was afraid of becoming a teen mom statistic or being what I knew people were betting I would be…a failure.

But sometimes that backfires. And there is a moment where those negative comments become my way of fighting the system and my stubbornness becomes “oh I’ll show you that I absolutely do not have to do these things.” That’s usually surrounds any negative responses to my weight gain/loss or my still living at home.

So yes, I have become that person. I’m aware. I apologize to the people who are sick of hearing me talk about these things without seeing any action. I thank you for loving me all the same and not giving up. I’ve decided to make no promises and to also stop talking about it. Thank you Michael for that slow clap and gentle chuckle of supportive pessimism.

We shall see what happens!!