I’m not sure where our family will be living one year from now. I’ve been browsing real estate listings, checking out school districts, and imagining what it would be like to return to my home town or make a pit stop in another city for a couple years, before finally settling somewhere.
The uncertainty of our next step is driving me up the wall.
I’m naturally drawn to making fast decisions in the face of uncertainty. I want to choose a path and move toward it as quickly as possible. I love “wiping the slate clean” and starting something new. Except, I can’t do that right now. Our destination will depend on jobs, the housing market and a variety of other factors that I can’t even begin to predict.
I have a couple options: feel stuck and frustrated or be present and figure out what I can do now.
I chose the latter and got started by making a list of everything that needs to happen before we move. These are things that I can do right now. Seeing the list puts my impatience on hold. There’s a lot to do. Now that I’m more in reality about that, I can focus on the here and now a little more and be grateful that we have time to prepare for our next step, whatever that may be.
1. De-cluttering our home. Donate what we don’t need + organize what we do need.
2. Home improvements. What do we need to do in order to make this house an attractive rental or purchase?
3. Savor time with our Charm City pals. We love a lot of people in Charm City and if we do move away, we’ll miss them.
4. Get educated. We’re talking to real estate agents and friends living in different areas to get a feel for our options. Knowing more about the possibilities makes me feel more grounded and prepared for whatever happens.
5. Dream about the future. What kind of home do we want? Rent? Buy? Temporary or forever house? City? Country?
The last point on my list is a biggie. It’s okay to dream, even if my hopes might not work out. There’s a little voice in my head that says, “Don’t dream TOO big. You’ll never be able to swing THAT.” I’m trying to quiet the voices that tell me not to get too excited about the beautiful places my imagination takes me. I’ve found that most ideas that I think are impossible, usually work out if I just hang in there and keep believing that they just might be possible.
From hope to house.
When I moved to Baltimore with my then boyfriend, now husband, I dreamed of living in Hampden–the kitchy neighborhood that everyone has probably seen in a John Waters’ movie. We lived in a tiny carriage house downtown at the time. I started telling anyone who would listen that I wanted to buy a house in Hampden, although I had no idea how to make it happen. (I even went to a Hampden Community Council meeting to scope out my potential neighbors!) One of my trusted Baltimore friends recommended that I speak to her beloved real estate agent. Just for the heck of it, I did. Then, we started looking at houses. Then, we walked into the house that I’m living in today. “This is it,” Steve told me, minutes after stepping inside the hundred-year-old rowhouse.
From first hope, to closing on the house = 5 months. You just never know.