I said I’d write this post as soon as I had a moment. I’m sitting among a ton of unpacked boxes and just a week out from closing on my new home/moving in for the first time, AND my toddler is asleep, so… why not write it now?
If you know anything about me, you probably know that my past life/my roots are a little muddy. I’ve talked some about growing up poor, the struggle of feeling like I’m good enough to be living the life I am, and the pounds and pounds of self doubt that keep me awake at night.
But I’m not sure I’ve ever spoken at length about how my family lost our house when I was a kid.
I don’t recall the house being for sale or my parents ever speaking to me about it while it was going on–I only knew we were abruptly moving into an apartment. Later in life, they explained they’d lost the house due to a combination of poor decisions/lack of money/financial ruin/name your favorite term here for the world sucks.
It was summer before we lost the house to the bank. That last month when we lived there, I mostly remember having my own room for the first time; my older sister had moved out. It was humid and I only had a mattress on the floor but I had privacy! It was THE BEST. I’d end up sharing a room with my little sister again very soon. I was used to it.
Our home had barely contained me, my two sisters, my parents, and all our scattered pets. My mom and dad slept on a pull-out couch in the living room. It normalized that kind of lifestyle for me, and in fact, for the past few months I’d been sleeping on a pull-out couch as well. It was the only way to give our baby his own room/a place for his crib.
Moving was hard, but losing the location was harder. We lived beside two big lakes, and I would go out almost every morning through the night, just fishing and catching frogs or reading/writing under the trees.
Our new apartment was far away from all of this.
Long story short, losing the house created a deep fear in me. I spent years claiming I would never, EVER try and own a home. I was positive it would end badly for me. I mean, how could it not? How could I, of all people, afford AND KEEP affording a house when my parents couldn’t?
The possibility of losing anything–the reality of loss–was so visceral in me that it sank into a lot of my life for a long while.
Six years ago, I met my now husband. He was unlike anyone else I’d ever been with. He wanted kids and a house, and his desires forced me to sit up and wonder what I might actually want someday, too. But again, I was sure buying a home was out of my capabilities.
Three years ago, I said to him, “I want a baby with you. I want a house. I want those things.”
Our plan: if we couldn’t afford a home in five years, we would consider moving elsewhere. You see, we live in Los Angeles, and the SoCal housing market is gross. GROSS.
You can imagine how surreal it is for me that here I am, sitting on my couch inside what is apparently my new home, writing this blog post.
If you want to know more about the actual process of buying the home as a self-pub author, let me know. 🙂 This was clearly more about my rambling thoughts and hangups and I have a ton of unpacking to do still!!