Buying a House as a Single Girl
Part of the experience of life is saying, “no one ever told me…”
It’s because they can’t. Sometimes life just has to be lived to be discovered. Each person has new frontiers, even if technically people have gone this way a thousand, million times before. Each birth is unique. Each love story is its own. Each friendship its own particular brand of exhilaration and joy and offense.
Each house renovation is at least 20 times bigger than you thought. Even if all you are doing is painting the walls and ceilings (mere trifle), pulling up two layers of kitchen floor (poo-poo) and re-doing 1200 Sq ft. of red oak hardwood (child’s play).
“No one ever told me!”
Let me just say that I have a new, healthy respect for people who aren’t married, including myself. There were so many different times during this process where having a partner would have made this easier. Think about it, when there are two one can run the errand and one can continue working. One can meet the internet guy, and one can go to their job. One can sign a paper and one can make food for church. One can pack at the old house, one can clean at the new.
Instead there is just one of me, so while people have been magnificent (I have been overwhelmed in the best ways) with how much they have helped me, they have absolutely no obligation to help so at the end of the day it’s just me. Either way, they can’t live my life so I have had to hold down a job, ministry responsibility, decision-making fort, all the financial run-around that goes with buying a house, most of the Lowe’s errands, landlord communications, new accounts for trash and natural gas and goodness knows what, at least pretending to help when people have generously donated their time to my new house (instead of attending to 1,001 details to make sure they could actually help effectively), all the while making sure there are groceries so I can eat, sufficient time to sleep so sickness doesn’t come (jury is still out on that) and gifts for a gorgeous brand-new baby in between.
Guys, at risk of sounding conceited, I couldn’t be more proud of myself.
Of course, the pro to all this is not having to agree with a husband on decor/color choices/furniture/internet provider. Now, if I get married, he’s just going to have to lump it because everything is already there. At least, if we’d stay with my house. That’s a bridge to be crossed in an unseen future, so that thought is hereby dismissed.
There will be more actual “how it all worked out” house posts in the future, so here is my final thought: these processes can never be glib and I’m glad for it. Satisfaction in life is proportionate to what we put into it, and if we never did huge, impossible things we’d never know how big our lives could be.
So this time, buying a house. Maybe sometime a bigger job risk, or marriage, or kids.
The path to excellence looks a lot like hard work and making choices bigger than ourselves. The biggest gift we can give to ourselves is to become small in the reach of our lives, because to grow requires space, and we must do the labor of carving this space to allow for growth.