Anyone who says buying a home is easy is either a liar or very, very wealthy.
This has been one of the most stressful things I have EVER done in my life, including applying to college, college itself, pledging a sorority, deciding not to go to grad school (two weeks before it started), moving to a new city where I didn’t know anyone, moving out on my own for the first time, and even roller derby.
If you read my last post, it’s pretty obvious that I was not in the most positive frame of mind when I wrote it. Today I wanted to clarify something, since some people have seemed to get the wrong impression from that post. After two AMAZING New Girl practices this weekend, I realized that I didn’t really understand how much of my stress about the first two practices was actually stress from home-buying. It probably isn’t important to anyone but me, really, but it is my story to tell and this is an important part of it.
The week before I started New Girl, I found out from my lender that even with all the assistance programs I’m using to buy my house, I still needed to come up with $5000 extra. As in, in order to buy this house and not default on my contract (two very important things to me), I had to figure out a way to beg, steal, or borrow five grand. FIVE. GRAND. That is a small number in the grand scheme of things, but a grand number in the small scheme of MY things. That is money I DO NOT HAVE, hence the down payment assistance programs & first time homebuyer loans. I was so upset the evening I found out I laid awake most of the night, crying and scheming and going crazy. I spent that next week talking it over with very important people in my life, and still couldn’t come up with a solution that worked. I worried I’d have to end this ride before I’d even got on, but I didn’t want to throw in the towel just yet.
The best things in my life have come to me gently, floating into my current without invitation or manipulation. I am NOT saying hard work isn’t ever involved–I would point to derby as a perfect example. It very unexpectedly came to me at the perfect time in my life, when it was appropriate and best. I am such a firm believer in NOT forcing or ‘striving’ for something, because it has been proven to me over and over again that when the timing is right the thing you need will come to you. [Case in point: Jon is my first real relationship, and it is a healthy, successful, mature, loving one because I didn’t agonize over finding a boyfriend at that time in my life. He appeared when I was happy and loving to myself, when I was interested in discovering new things and learning more about myself. Our relationship came about easily & organically, and it continues because we adjust ourselves fluidly to the changes in our lives.]
But I am also learning, throughout this whole process, the difference between “forcing” something, and working hard for it. My old boss Lisa has really been an encouragement to me in positive thinking & working hard to achieve your dreams, and I have to say, she’s converted me. I believed I could get into New Girl even though six months ago I had difficulty staying upright on my new skates, and today I write this recovering from a late-night practice. Of course to get to this point took hard work & self-discipline, but it was about making the choice to go work out when I wanted to go home, or skating for another fifteen minutes, or waking up even earlier on Saturday mornings to get some alone time on the track. That’s the difference between forcing your life versus working hard. One is dangerous and the other is laziness, and wisdom is knowing the difference. When I found out about the extra money that was needed, I was afraid I had reached an obstacle that I couldn’t overcome, something that would necessitate “striving” and would ruin the beautiful thing that had come to me.
So there I was, so stressed about money and watching one dream slip through my fingers, trying desperately to save the other. I was sleep-deprived and hadn’t been eating very much, and everything seemed impossible–work, sleep, Primal eating, relationships, DERBY. I was in a sad sad place where I felt like crying at the drop of a hat. Luckily, I was able to recognize at the time that the reason everything seemed so dark and dreary and unconquerable was mostly because of this whole home-buying situation, but that didn’t make it any less miserable. To add the stress of an even more disciplined workout/lifestyle felt impossible, an insurmountable mountain.
I feel very blessed that these times in my life have been very brief, although they feel like a consuming eternity each time. Approximately a week after that initial heartbreak, I was able to work out a deal with a very generous person that will still allow me to purchase the house. The relief I felt was overwhelming, although it took a few hours for the stress to start seeping from my body.
When I thought about writing blog posts that would help other people through this first-time home-buying process, I envisioned each post looking much different than this. I thought maybe I’d tell you what forms were important to have on file, let you know what & when your lender will tell you or need from you. I wanted to give out useful information to other people like me–young adults who think they want it but aren’t sure how to get it. But it is being revealed to me with each lesson, each life event, that I am such a creature of sensuality & emotion that the emotions and feelings of an experience overwhelm the logistics of it. I am not saying this is right OR wrong, simply that this is how I experience the world, ergo my writing can only reflect that.
This evening finds me exceedingly grateful, as I am still on the path to home ownership (so soon!) and I am thoroughly enjoying New Girl training. Each day brings its own challenges, physically, emotionally, and financially, but am I also learning how to handle those challenges: one day at a time. Each day has it’s own trouble, and it doesn’t make sense to worry about what might happen tomorrow when I can only do something about what’s happening TODAY. I am being pushed further than I ever expected but I am actually growing as well, and that is as astonishing as anything in my life.