On Tuesday, an offer was submitted on the house...a ridiculously, insultingly, problematically low offer, but an offer nonetheless. This is real progress and I've barely been able to breathe since.
Counteroffers have been going back and forth for four days now and it's stressful. I've been told the buyers are from Chicago and expect a drawn out negotiation process and to relax, that they love the house and we should be able to come to an agreement.
Relax?! Are you kidding me?
The house has been on the market for quite a while, it's a special house in a tough market area and needs just the right buyer to love it. The routine of keeping the house in show worthy condition with everything just so has worn thin, not to mention I'm beyond ready to move on and start my new life.
Or am I? I was talking to my friend about the situation and without thinking something profound came out of my mouth. I said something like "I've been in bare bones survival mode so long that the prospect of freedom is going to take some time to get used to". Whoa!
If there was ever a time in my life where I needed to be gentle with myself, it is now.
After what I now see was a pretty charmed life, the past couple of years haven't given me many breaks and I'm afraid to get excited, but the reality is, from the practical side of things, I have to mentally prepare myself for getting ready to move since we'll know in a few days if the sale will be moving forward. And thinking about that, in spite of myself I can feel a tiny bubble of excitement beginning to build.
I grew up just east of Los Angeles and am a USC graduate. I love Los Angeles. I am a beach girl through and through. After college, I spent most of my time in Orange and Riverside counties and did a lot of commuting and it took its toll on me (I'm downplaying it...the 91 almost killed me). For years I dreamed of a slower way of life that didn't involve four hours on the freeway every day just to make a living. A few years ago I had an opportunity to live out of state for about a year and a half before a family illness called me back home, and I loved it. This time it would be permanent.
But almost nothing worked out the way it was planned. Not only did my love abandon me, but others let me down too. I'm sure this has a lot to do with it, but I'm resilient and I knew I could make it work. I mean, I'm the one that created that charmed life that I used to have, right? I noticed that on visits back to California, I came alive. I was around my people! There was diversity! It was absolutely tropical! The Mexican food was killer! The traffic was my old friend! As time passed, one thing became more and more clear to me: I wanted to go home.
So I spent a lot of time thinking of where that might be and how that might look. I went through a phase where I actually thought I might move back to my old neighborhood and mentioned it to my mom who said why the FUCK would you want to do that? She reminded me that since I had been a teenager I had off and on mentioned that I would like to live in San Diego and she suggested I look into that...it was familiar territory but also new, close to the ocean and without the LA traffic and offered a lot of what I said I was looking for. Over the course of about a year, a new dream started to take shape.
From the time I was a little girl, I dreamed of becoming an architect. I followed that dream to the USC School of Architecture, where I realized pretty quickly I was completely miserable. I wanted out, but how could I give up my dream? A very wise person told me this - there is no shame in giving up a dream that is no longer working for you. And I made what was one of the best decisions of my life and bravely changed my major and ended up right where I was destined to be. Where I was happy.
My dream of living in this state hasn't been working for me for a very long time. I am a California girl, I am a Trojan and I know how to fight on. I'm going home.