Friday, April 22, 2011

In Praise of True Love and Cheap Housing

Sometimes you know that a change is coming and it takes an unexpected form. For the last couple of years, we have been focused on the project of moving from our current house. After months of open houses, research on neighborhoods, and fixing up the more desperate parts of our house, something just didn't seem right. Every neighborhood we visited seemed lacking in someway (too expensive, too suburban). On the other hand, the work that we did on our house made us feel more positive and less overwhelmed by its problems. Then they began to build a train blocks from our house and we realized what an amenity that will be. In short, we fell in love again with our crappy old house in our unassuming neighborhood.

Nevertheless, change was still coming. Just not this change. During the last six months, my stress levels at work had become increasingly high and both Josh and I had the nagging feeling that we were living a life that was unsustainable. Somehow without thinking, we had become another double-income couple in search of the upper middle class American Dream. To most people, this would have been a great indicator of our success. For the two of us, bizarre non-conforming contrarians that we are, we were overwhelmed by the feeling of being a machine in service to a dream we never wanted in the first place.

So, I quit my job. Yesterday. I was able to do this because my husband really loves me and because our crappy old house that we love even more now is dirt cheap. I am officially off the treadmill of enormous daycare bills, stupid suit jackets, and long hours expending energy in service to someone else's vision. Now we can try again to pursue the full expression of our values - the dreams deeper and older and more uniquely ours than large houses in the "right" neighborhood or impressive job titles. We have returned to our original promise to each other back when we first got together - "a life of squalor and misery." This life that will be full of creativity, love, and the pursuit of our real dreams.

1 comment:

Julie said...

Wow, Charlotte. Big news! I'm excited that you're going to get a break from the grind and more time to pursue your loves.