Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A Completely Natural Reaction to Good Things Happening

Getting a job froze me. Figuratively, of course, but I got the offer and promptly shut down.  (Well, not quite promptly. First, I negotiated salary, which was even more bogglingly terrifying, even though I succeeded from my point of view.) Instead of doing the nice, productive things I'd been doing all summer, like exercising and eating healthy food and generally doing the sorts of things that human beings do, I buried myself under a blanket and read the equivalent of 20 books in miscellaneous fiction.

I'm moving a couple hours away from my parents' house and starting a new job. This shouldn't be a big deal. I mean, I've moved twenty hours away for internships when I'd never had a "real" job before, right? It never bothered me like this.

But I went to visit apartments, and I hated all of them. Hated-- as in, I could not wait to leave. Plus, they seemed like a lot of money for not a lot of living space, and a lot of them had tons of fees and distressingly pushy landlords. (Non-refundable security deposit? I need to fill out this rental application right now, or else I'll need to get it notarized or make the hours-long drive back to the rental office and pay a $50 application fee for an apartment that may not even be available? No, thanks.)

So, I spent some quality time with rent-vs.-buy calculators like this one and discovered that renting makes absolutely no sense for us whatsoever. We can get more living space in for less money if we buy. Plus, we love the idea of owning.  Owning a house has been my dream since I was six or so.  When other girls were dreaming about their wedding, I was drawing floor plans and designing gardens. More happy for less money doesn't come up often, so we're going for it.

K and I spent last night browsing house listings online. Today, I ignored the butterflies in my stomach and called a real estate agent and a bank. Phrases like "well, this will be good when we have children" have entered my discussion on a regular basis. 

I feel like this is the stuff of fantasies.  My fantasies, even, where I have a kid and a partner and a space of my own where I can cook dinner, paint the walls, and plant day lilies. I want this: this is the reason I went to the bank on my eighteenth birthday for a credit card to begin building my credit history, this is the reason I saved ruthlessly during my internships and paid off my college debt. I should feel happy, right?

Instead, Big Life Changes mode has gone into overdrive.  Not only am I starting a new job, I'm also going to sign a mortgage, buy a house, and (eventually) get married to someone who will have to live in that house with me. It terrifies me. I'm dragging myself through every step, giving myself pep talks before every phone call.  I'm starting to bundle my belongings into suitcases, but a lot of them, I'm leaving where they are-- I'll have to stay with family while I'm house-hunting, because I had hoped to have an apartment and I don't. I can live out of a suitcase for a month-- I've done it before, when I studied abroad-- but it's still scary.

No one warned me that getting everything I've dreamed about and worked for would come with a side of nerves. Now, the best I can do is to power through it, knowing that I'll be glad I did once the massive changes are over.

Wish me luck.