On Real Estate: The Thoughts You Have When You Have Recently Liquidated Your Biggest Asset

  1. Hey!  Money!  Sweet!
  2. Is it really so bad to rent all your life?  Don’t Europeans do it all the time?
  3. We could probably live on that money for a couple of years traveling Southeast Asia if we were careful with it.  Or South America somewhere.
  4. But how hard would it be after doing that to start from zero money and zero jobs again at the age of 35 or so?  Would anyone hire people who had quit their perfectly good jobs to travel for a few years in their thirties?  But maybe it’s worth it?
  5. Then again I finally really like my job.  It makes me feel smart and competent and appreciated and it pays ok.
  6. And it’s lovely to have a home that you make your own, with all your books and a fully equipped spice cabinet.  One thing I remember from the transient life is that I never had the spices I needed when I needed them.
  7. And I finally have friends here, and it feels like that took a lot of time.  Would I lose them if I left?  I like to think not, but past experience has taught me differently.  Starting from scratch with friends is just as hard as starting from scratch with money.
  8. And it might be nice to get a cat.  Lately I have been feeling envy for the sweet and simple relationships that people have with their pets.  I’ve never actually experienced that and maybe I’d like to.
  9. But if we buy a home and get a cat, does that mean we have committed to this city, these jobs, this life forever and ever?  I’m happy with it now, but will I always be?  Is it enough?  Will I regret it one day?  Or resent it?  It is setting things in stone that I’d rather have written in the sand?
  10. Or I am over-thinking this?  We sold one apartment.  We can always sell another, I suppose.  (Assuming, of course, that there isn’t a massive economic collapse, which is perhaps not an unrealistic concern.)
  11. There are so many kinds of freedom.  Owning a home gives you one but takes away another.  It feels like one of those decisions that sets you on a particular path and direction.  And it’s such a clear path.  When I envision that direction, I feel safe and happy; it gives me a sense of peace, when I am not by nature a peaceful soul.
  12. But the other path is just as clear in my mind.  The prospect makes me equally excited and nervous.  It involves adventure and new experiences, but it probably involves money struggles and doing the kinds of jobs that were fun in my twenties but that probably wouldn’t satisfy me anymore.  It’s a less certain future, with all the good and bad that can lead to.
  13. Very few plans lead exactly where you expect them to, but some are more predictable than others.  And in predictability lies comfort, but also what?  Boredom, maybe.  Life is short but also so very long.
  14. What defines a life as well-lived?  Is it the experiences you have?  The knowledge you accumulate?  Is it accomplishments?  And if so, what kinds of accomplishments matter?
  15. I mostly think, though, that a well-lived life is measured most in the depth and quality of the relationships you develop: the love you put out in to the world and are able to receive as a result.
  16. And maybe this is why decisions that feel massive and life-altering rarely stress me as much as figuring out if I want eggs or pancakes at brunch:  whichever path I choose, or decision I make, or direction I follow, I know that my focus will always be on the people who matter to me.  That will always be my centre and my joy.  The rest, I suppose, is just details.
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10 thoughts on “On Real Estate: The Thoughts You Have When You Have Recently Liquidated Your Biggest Asset

    • Oh, I think anything can trigger it if you’re in the right head space. The trick for me is not falling down these mental rabbit holes all the time. It can be a little crippling if you let it.

  1. DO IT. Go travel. The friends who aren’t there when you get back aren’t the true kinds of friends who would’ve stuck it out for a lifetime, anyway. And think of the other people you would meet!

    Yes. It would probably be difficult to find jobs when you get back. But maybe you’d find your true calling while you’re gone. And hey… my current employer hired me with “2 months making hot sauce in Costa Rica” on my resume. It’s possible. 😉

    • Ha! My current employer hired me with “massaged people in bars” on my resume. Actually, I think it was one of the reasons they had me in – so they could ask me about it.

      I did spend about seven years in my twenties traveling and it was great. But starting over again does sound exhausting. Not so much the doing, but the aftermath. I don’t know. Sometimes it feels more appealing than others.

  2. Haven’t been by here in awhile, but glad I caught this post. We have property for sale as well, and all these questions (save the cat – we have dogs instead) have shuffled through my mind.
    In the end, I am grateful to live where we have choices such as these to make – it alters my perspective and my angst a bit.
    Thanks.

  3. You expressed perfectly the million little dilemmas in life’s decisions. If it helps, I’ve been asking myself a lot of the same questions, and I’m a couple of decades older than you. Don’t you envy people who seem to be single-minded and focused, and who don’t waste time second-guessing themselves? (I don’t either.) Wonderful post, Stephanie.

    • Thanks. I actually don’t think I spend all that much time second-guessing myself. All those thoughts, while they took a while to write out, work their way through my consciousness in seconds. Or maybe it’s that they’re there all the time. I think I am in a constant state of considering things, so even when it looks like I’m making a split-second decision, it’s based on knowing myself. Or something like that. I’m not sure if I’m making sense, but I know what I mean.

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