“A girl should be two things: who and what she wants.”― Coco Chanel
Living our most authentic life and not caring what other people think about it is real freedom.
Four and a half years ago, I bought a house. After 30 years renting in California, I never imagined I would ever be able to buy a house on my own. I never let it be a dream. As a single mother, I lived paycheck to paycheck; the idea of saving for a house didn’t even seem to be an option.
After my children were grown and on their own, I decided to move back to my hometown of Tucson, Arizona. My intent was to rent a condo for a year, partially to see if this was where I wanted to spend the rest of my life. I had long planned that when my children were safely living their adult lives, I was going to put my finger up in the air let the wind decide where it lead me.
Oddly, and unexpectedly, it led me back to the town where I was raised; a town I couldn’t have gotten away from fast enough when I was young. I no longer had family here. My parents had long passed, and my brother and sister had moved away. I never, in a million years, expected to want to move back to Tucson, but several trips back for class reunions, and a funeral and several tributes to a dear friend who died in the line of duty, made Tucson start feeling like home again.
In May of 2015, I came to Tucson with my best friend to explore my possibilities. As a fluke, we decided to look at new home developments. The next thing I knew, I was filling out loan applications and making arrangements for my home to be built. Things fell into place so effortlessly, that it seemed my destiny to own this house, to move to Tucson, to make this my forever home. It seemed that way, but I’m no longer sure that this dream was mine.
The number one reason, I chose to come back to Tucson was the cost of living. My original plan was to move into a condo. Just enough space to feel comfortable, but not overwhelmed. My goal was to have enough disposable income that I could travel to my heart’s content. With a job that allows me to work from anywhere, I could have a home base, but not be forced to be there all the time. That was really my dream.
My house is beautiful, and I know and completely acknowledge how blessed I am to have it. As much as I have tried to make it “homey”, I feel like it is so much more than I really need, or want. I feel guilty because I don’t feel like I am grateful for my bounty. In truth, I feel like I am living a lie.
My house has tied me down to mortgage similar to my rental costs in California, I never considered that property tax would grow 400% in the 4 years I’ve lived here. I didn’t take into consideration that I have no landscaping skills (or desire to develop any) and that my back yard is just blah.
I worked outside my initial intent and I got something wonderful, but not something I needed. I wanted to live a life with less responsibility and more peace, and now I find myself trapped in a life I don’t want.
Whether is was the influence of friends, or the seemingly serendipitous route to home ownership. I ultimately denied my initial intent. I created a dream, that wasn’t really mine.
Because of some fraudulent behavior of my former employer, the IRS has placed a lien on my house, so I can’t sell it, at least through normal processes. Just before the pandemic hit, I was expecting the IRS matter to close in my favor (it didn’t) and I was actively looking at new smaller places to live. I’ve had to put that on hold, as we navigate through this and I continue to try and resolve the issue with the IRS.
I’m determined to go back to my initial plan, move into something smaller; something the right size for one single lady. A home that feels like home base, but allows me wings to fly when the mood hits me.
That’s the authentic me. A single lady with wings to fly.