It amazes me how you characterize wealth as a child. I was walking through my neighborhood with my daughter and husband earlier this evening. We take this walk pretty frequently because our toddler loves being outside. She is so calm in her stroller and the weather has been beautiful.
We live in one of those housing developments where all the homes are close together and they all look very similar. Our development has a locked gate. I am not sure that actually does anything besides look pretty and make it more difficult for us homeowners to get in there, but it’s a peace of mind that it gives regardless. Our house is so close to the house next door we hardly have a yard and we did that on purpose. We don’t want to spend our weekends doing lawn maintenance, so we opted not to have a lawn at all.
When we first decided to build in this neighborhood, I swear it was like the house fell into our lap, at the right time, in the right budget and on a quiet street. It was perfect. Every week we’d walk through this house and scope out the progress. It was really fast at first. Then it seemed to stall. Then it made more progress and before we knew it, we were moving in. It was surreal.
Sometimes thinking about the entire process brings tears to my eyes because I consider all the work that I put into getting to this position in my life. I think about all the times that I literally didn’t think I would ever make it for fear of setting my hopes too high. When I was in middle school and high school, I never had anyone over to my house. We didn’t throw sleepovers there. I went to all my friend’s houses and they all lived in these developments, had their own bedrooms, had spacious backyards and their houses all looked like their neighbors houses. They didn’t “appear” to struggle (I say appear because you literally never know). This was the definition of “wealth” to me at the time. I now know as an adult that homes in those types of neighborhoods are more affordable than I originally thought. I know that $250-$300k is more of a run of the mill price across the US and even low in many parts. I just know more, yet despite knowing more, my goal never changed.
My goal was to get here. To get to a house that had enough bedrooms we could host a guest. That had enough space that we could entertain people. That looked nice, felt nice, was clean (still working on that one most days – please don’t come over during the middle of the week) and a house that I felt proud to say was mine. I know obviously you cannot buy happiness. I also know that happiness isn’t in the form of being materialistic. I don’t mean to come off that way, and if I am, feel free to smack me. This house in the neighborhood just reflects so much more to me than just being a house. It represents a goal achieved. It’s the culmination of what feels like 25 years of work and decision making. Being set back, but still moving forward. It is the way I defined my own success.
I feel so zen here. I feel like I am finally at a place where I don’t need to continue to try to move forward every single second in order to feel like I am getting somewhere. Anywhere. This is the first time in my life that I’ve ever just let myself be. I’m not complacent, I am still self-developing, but I don’t feel anxiety around it. I don’t feel like I met a mark and checked something off my list and now I need to reset a goal (I will get to this idea of happiness again in another post). I feel good, strong, relaxed and happy and I credit a lot of this to my new home. To this house, which was once an abstract idea in my mind, but has now become a reality. I could live her forever and probably would if my career never made me move ever again (slim chances on that one). It is perfect for us in every way. We’re finally home.