So I’m selling my house, and I’m glad to be doing it. It’s the culmination of my Exit from several Games. The Having a Mortgage to Support Banks that Destroyed Our Economy Game. The Having a Job I Hate to Support a Massive House I Don’t Need Game. The Filling My Big House with Useless, Cheap Shit Game. The Landlord Living with his Friends/Tenants Game. The Not Living in a Yurt Game.
The Game, my friends, Is Over. And, about that, I couldn’t be happier.
But. *But*, I have to SELL the house before I can change my Game. And that’s a Big But.
Because my father was a corporate pilot with mental health issues, I was forced to move around a lot as a child. Just when I would get happy and settled in one place, *BANG*! my parents would tell me we were moving. *Again*. I’d lived in six other states by the time I moved to Texas at age eleven. So I have *issues*. Issues about moving. And that was when someone *else* was responsible for all the *other* things about which I’m fixin’ to complain. And this is the one and only house I’ve ever “owned.”
In addition to fighting down childhood-induced irrational panic, there is a *lot* of work to do to fix up the house. Structurally it’s in pretty good shape, but there are a *lot* of cosmetic things to be fixed. Flooring. Painting. New lights. New fans. New landscaping. And all of this has to done on very strict, limited budget. Why? Because one of the main reasons I’m selling my house is that I quit the corporate scene over three years ago to become an independent mobile app developer, and i *can’t fucking do it* and be a full-time, on-site landlord at the same time. There aren’t enough hours in a day, even for people *WAY* more organized than me.
I knew when I quit that this was a possibility. But long before I was staring down the barrel of not being able to pay for my 2200 sq. ft. suburban ranch, I realized that i didn’t *want* it anymore. I’ve lived in a yurt I build myself for over six total months now, and I’ve realized that very little in my life won’t fit in the less than 200 sq. ft. that framework gently protects from the outside world. *AND* it cost less than $500, folds up and fits in my car!
The only reason I got a house that big to begin with is because high tech is a very unstable field, and I knew that if I lost my job and had a bigger house, I could rent rooms to save the house. But I’m Done, with the Games I listed above and many more. I’ve always been a savvy financial manager, and I had a plan in place to deal with the day when I wouldn’t be able to fork over the 20k+/year necessary to keep that roof over my head. And when the time came, I took the right actions. The house has appreciated in the ten years I’ve lived there, and when I finally get to the end of this Very Long Tunnel, I’ll be fine.
But in the meantime, I’m basically engaged in a hypocritical, salivating worship of most of the things I’m trying to escape by selling it in the first place. First of all, the house has never really been a place I’ve *enjoyed* living. The few times it’s actually looked nice were because my roommates were willing to put time and effort into making it that way, and, acting as the uptight landlord and micro-manager, i’ve opposed them at every turn. Now, finally, the house is actually going to look really nice, new, and beautiful. Suddenly I’m doing all those cosmetic remodeling projects I didn’t have time for before. I’m putting most of the rest of my life on hold to slave away laying floor, caulking gaps, and painting. And once it’s glossy and happy and new-again looking, what will i do?
And is all this hard work going toward changes in harmony with my values?
Fuck no. In fact, it goes against almost every value I hold dear.
I hate hypocrisy. Keep that one in mind, dear reader, as I list the rest.
I love beauty of design and form, but I’m tricking the house out with a cosmetic veneer to attract the “average buyer.”
I’m working hard to escape the current, broken, predatory financial system, but am slaving away to squeeze the last bit of equity from my home’s market-based appreciation over the past decade.
I’m trying to stick it to evil banks by escaping my mortgage, so I’m diligently focused on selling the house at the highest price possible, creating a much *larger* mortgage than the one I currently have. The bank doesn’t care who owns it, they still get more money. The net effect is the creation of more debt, even if it’s not mine.
I want to live in a world where people can stay in once place long enough to form real communities, stay closer to their families, grow their own food, and reap the harvest 15 years from now from a pecan tree they plant today. So I’m running away from the place I’ve lived longest in life to go off and live in a yurt in the boonies.
I want my work to make a lasting contribution to my own happiness and the world, and instead the big push with the house is money, an irredeemable motivation that continues to destroy our lives and our planet.
I want to have the freedom to travel more, spent more time with friends, family, and lovers, and until I sell the house I have basically no freedom to go anywhere or do anything significant beyond bare-bones sanity maintenance.
I could probably go on, but I think I’ll stop there.
Will it be over soon? Yes. Will all this hard work be worth it when I’m 100% debt free, have enough money to survive for several years without any additional income while I get my new life in order? When i’m chilling in my yurt in my friend’s front yard in Portland, Oregon enjoying a goat-milk cappuccino and berries I picked down the street?
Hell. Fucking. Yes.
But in the meantime, there is much cause for whining. So here I am.
Back to work.