Thursday, September 14, 2006

Don't Be Afraid

The basis of our relationship could very well be that opposites attract. Jon is more the happy-go-lucky one. He's adventurous, extroverted, and willing to do whatever he has to in order to get what he wants. I like to consider myself the grounded one but I probably come off as more cautious than anything. I'm introverted, analytical, and known for picking apart his wants until they just don't sound like a bright idea. I think that's why buying a house was one of the more terrifying things I have done in my life.

And now you think I'm peculiar because buying a house isn't "terrifying". Skydiving, haunted hayrides, and walking in stilettos are "terrifying". It was scary because my 22-year-old self couldn't quite grasp the idea of doubling my rent payment. I couldn't comprehend a life without a handyman or a landlord to cover repair costs. And let's not forgot the added cost of heating and cooling a space that is triple the square-footage of our then two bedroom apartment. So when Jon approached me with the idea of home ownership I let myself dream a little (because life without the neighbor's wall-rattling music would have been wonderful) but I didn't get my hopes up. Buying a house, putting myself in debt for almost 30 years, didn't seem all that possible, at least not for a little while longer. But in the end I gave him the reigns, told him to start the process and we would go from there. I thought we could bide our time, wait until the perfect house came along. I figured it would take about a year.

Surprisingly, things moved at lightning speed which is when I am least able to comprehend what I am doing and therefore stressing out even more. Jon had us approved for a loan the next day. The day after that I was speaking to a realtor as I scanned websites of properties in our target areas. And the day after that we visited a few of those properties. I fell in love with the first house I saw but Jon said "Not so much," and we kept looking. Two days later we found the perfect house. And on my 23rd birthday we were writing out a contract, entering into a bidding a war that we would emerge from victoriously. Our realtor even provided pizza, balloons, and a birthday cake. I do not believe I will ever be given a larger or more expensive birthday gift than I received on my 23rd birthday--my very own house.

Considering I had convinced myself it would take about a year, I became a mental case when I was given 30 days to closing before which I had to gather all proof of my existence, have an inspector go through the house, inform the landlord we were leaving, pack up our apartment, and spend an entire evening doing nothing but signing stacks of paperwork. And I was frantically pinching pennies, trying to save as much money as I could, because I was still afraid of the costs. There are some things that you just don't know how it is going to work until you give it a shot and my problem was that I was very frightened of the unknown. I found solace in my newest CD at the time, Tori Amos' The Beekeeper, which was forever on repeat.

Apparently we did good and all my worrying was for naught. We moved out of the apartment and into the house without any problems and have been living very happily (without the neighbor's terrible music) since. And mostly I forget about how stressful it was and immerse myself in all of the benefits.

But while driving home today The Beekeeper shuffled it's way onto my iPod and I felt a hollowness in the pit of my stomach. All of the sudden something was effecting me, something was giving me the urge to burst into tears and I realized it was the music. A month of my life was spent listening to that CD and the most prominent emotion experienced during that month was fear. I thought it was amazing that music could have so much power over me. And I thought it was very sad that I let myself ruin what should have been an exciting time.

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