Friday, May 23, 2014

The Turning of the Tide

Wow! It has been a long time since I've had the chance to just sit down and get caught up with this blog. Things have been interesting, crazy, scary and great all at the same time. I think the buzzword of the year has been 'Change'. 2014 has been a change every other day, if not several times a day. The changes occurring include change of scenery, change of mind, change of experience...a lot of things.

I've come to a lot of realizations within the past few months in which I'd cast aside things that no longer served me in order to create the life that I really wanted. For so long, I've spent years trying to please other people and live the way that they thought I should be living. After a while, it's become apparent that I've long since outgrown those roles and in the process had become depressed and unhappy. I was like a round peg trying to fit into a square hole. When I gave up trying to suit others and what they thought I should be doing and began to really think about what I wanted, the shift began to take place.

When I was younger, I was sold a bill of goods about what life is about and what we all should want. Some people called it the 'Life Script'. Basics of the Life Script include going to college, getting married, having children, buying a house and many other things that people do around the world, not just here in the US. I'm not saying that this is bad. The Life Script works really well for some people and they are very happy fulfilling those preset roles and then there are others like me that come to the realization that parts of it are not all it's cracked up to be.

I was in my early twenties, when I became a homeowner. At the time, it seemed like the thing to do. I was convinced that I was making the right choice. It was sold as part of the 'American Dream'. For a good long time, it was great. I was making the requisite amount of money to live on my own as a single person, while maintaining a household. And then 2008 happened and I became one of millions of a statistic, where people who had been living pretty well suddenly found themselves cast adrift via massive layoffs, housing crashes and many other things.

I had lost a decent job where I had been with a company just shy of twenty years. I had wanted to retire from there but life had other ideas. My position was eliminated and I managed to find another job with a good company in a completely different industry. I wasn't making what I was at the first job but managed to hold it together as best I could while the cost of living began to rise higher than my paycheck. This 'good company' folded the end of 2013 and I was laid off yet again. I managed to get another job but this time as a contractor/temp at a financial company close by my home.

It seemed that with each successive position the pay decreased while the cost of living skyrocketed. I had become a slave to my home and it was beginning to chafe. I was getting tired of going into massive debt just to keep a roof over my head and after a while, the American Dream had become the American Nightmare. I finally had to make the hard choice to put my home on the market.

By the time that the decision came for me to do so, I was more than ready. I began to feel as if I was in a bad marriage. It was great in the beginning in the Honeymoon Phase with a few pockets of good times but the rest of the time began to wear on me greatly. It just never seemed to get any better. I was beginning to feel like I had a choke-hold around my neck with no way out. Having my own place was no longer a pleasure, it was a chore.

So, the place has been on the market now since mid-March. It's a condo in a sea of many other condos for sale. I'm not quite sure about how the condo market is doing but my realtor is maintaining a positive attitude.

I had always thought, due to earlier conditioning, that letting go of my home would be this traumatic experience but to be quite frank, it has been a lot easier than I ever expected. I opened my mind up to the possibilities that stretched out before me. Because I had been living here for so long, I had amassed a great deal of "stuff". In the process of throwing out, selling and donating this 'stuff'', I've marveled at why I had ever thought I'd needed any of it when it was so easy to just let go of it.

I barely have any furniture left and I am completely okay with it. I even got rid of my TV and cable. I still have internet though, can't live without that. I'm going to be donating more furniture again because I am going to be moving into a much smaller place soon.

In a midst all of this transition, it's been really interesting to see who was in it for the long haul with me and who wasn't. I gotta tell ya, I've got some really good friends who have listened to me, put up with me and have been nothing short of supportive. This transition has also opened the door to other relationships as well. I just am floored at how great people have been and how truly blessed I am.

As the sun sets on one life, it will rise again on another.