January 29, 2016


I maintained this week, which is a bit frustrating, but I understand. I definitely had trouble with snacking too much - then I got my period, so it suddenly made sense. I always get hungrier right before it starts. And, in a way, that's an NSV too - I got my period when I was supposed to, a sign that my body is starting to work right again. For the last few months, it's been incredibly irregular.

I also didn't do very much exercise this week. Usually I walk on the weekend, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, but we had bad weather last Saturday, so we stayed inside. Sunday we went for a walk, but Tuesday and Thursday I made appointments that took a good part of each day.

On Tuesday, I went with a realtor to look at a condo.

On Thursday, I went to the bank to talk about a loan.

It was two stressful days, for sure. I've moved five times in the last five years. I am so eager to lay down roots and just stay put somewhere. The condo is in the complex where I am currently renting, so I know I love the area and how convenient it is for work/Noah's daycare (and schools, eventually). With all the issues I've had dealing with my out-of-state landlords this year, it would be nice to be able to be in charge of my own home.

And ... I'd love to feel like I am home, too. Especially in this condo, which is covered in their art and full of their furniture. It feels like I am staying in someone else's house - which I suppose is true, but I guess my point is, it feels so different than other apartments I've rented. Those spaces I could at least customize a little to suit my own tastes.

And I guess part of it is envy, too. I feel so embarrassed by how much I still compare myself to my friends, but I see their meaningful relationships, their lovely proposals, their dream weddings, their fulfilling jobs, their planned pregnancies, and their new homes, and I feel like such a failure. I have a good job now, I have a fantastic son. But I'm here, feeling profoundly alone and unaccomplished, and very ashamed of my weight regain and my failed marriage, so I guess I'm trying to fill that need for visible success with a home.

It reminds me of when I was in high school and college, and I used to dye my hair a lot. I felt like so much of my life was outside of my control - I was obese but didn't think I had it in me to change that, I was deeply depressed and struggled to see a way out of that place. So I exerted control where I could. I couldn't lose 150 pounds overnight, but I could go from brown hair to red to black to blonde to any color I could ever want. People would see the pink hair, the teal hair, and they'd talk about how cool it was, and how they wished they could do something that daring and bold. And it made me feel daring and bold, even though changing my hair was absolutely a front for the qualities and the changes and the life I ached for so deeply.

Thursday night, I barely slept a wink. The whole whirlwind of the week made me feel strange. I mean, it was nice, seeing the condo and meeting with the loan specialist. But it felt a lot like pretending. It didn't feel like my own accomplishment, it didn't feel hard-earned and independent. Because, well, it isn't. I don't have the money for it, at all. I would need to borrow extensively from my family, and even that wouldn't cover all of it, just the down payment - what I would have used for closing costs, etc., is currently being used to retain a lawyer.

The condo might look like it was mine, but it wouldn't feel like it.

So I don't know what my next step is with this. Probably more of the same: forget it happened, renew my lease here in June, get through another year, and assess where I am after that. For a few days, though, it was nice to pretend that my life was happening the way everyone else's seems to be. It was nice to try on a life that felt close to normal.


Anna said...

It is tough not to compare ourselves to others (even when we are all grown up). It sounds like you have been through some serious stuff. Be kind to yourself...you will get where you want to go in time. Meanwhile wishing you joy in the journey.

Amanda said...

Thinking of you, and many hugs!

Even though it might feel like a failure, to me having the restraint to wait a year instead of jumping in to something you really can't afford is a lot harder! I know so many people who struggle to force square pegs in to round holes to just keep up appearances. I know it sucks, but I think that when you CAN walk in there and do it, on your own, it will be so much more rewarding.

I know that doesn't make it feel any better today of course.

Keep going, you can do it!

Amy said...

Comparison is truly a thief of joy.

First of all, there is no shame in borrowing. We had to borrow money from my parents to buy our home, and we STILL owe them the bulk of it. But we own our home and are paying into our asset vs. someone elses, and that feels much better than the pang of guilt owing my parents money.

Secondly, so maybe you're not ready to buy. That doesn't make you less of a person than the people with a perfect proposal, wedding, planned children... you don't know the battle they face on a daily basis. Everyone is on this planet fighting their own battles and some are more visible or prevalent on the outside than others.

I think you really need to work on being kinder to yourself. You have done huge things and made really great headway walking a path you've walked before, but you are in totally different shoes, wearing different hats (you're in a different state, you're going through a divorce and you're a mother, and you're older - um hello metabolism changes).

Focus on praising yourself more and stop comparing yourself to others and YOURSELF of the past. This is today. This is now. You won't have this exact set of circumstances again and I think if you could look back on this journey part 2, and you were like, "I really worked on loving myself and feeling grateful for who I am as a person, and felt pride in who that person is" and seeing that shift... that would be bigger to you than losing a certain number on the scale.

Diane said...

Just remember that while you are comparing yourself to others, there are others that are comparing themselves to you. I am currently unemployed and the other day I felt so envious of you. You speak multiple languages! You teach at a college! You are amazing! Meanwhile I'm applying eveywhere and not even kmart has called me back. I guess we just need to remember that no one has it all. We all have strengths and weaknesses.

Kendra said...

There is definitely no shame in borrowing. My husband and I borrowed from his parents to cover our down payment. We'll be paying them back over the next 5-6 years. It was the only way we were going to be able to cover a down payment=. Even with it, we're lucky we had the option of the VA loan to not need 20%.

There is also no shame in renting. The huge push to make home ownership the pinnacle of the American dream is what caused the housing crash. Renting is always a good option. Owning comes with it's own pitfalls.

Rae said...

maybe a small home or duplex and a fha loan. You only need 5% down.

Alicia said...

The best advice I ever received was to not look at other people's outsides with our insides. It's difficult to not compare ourselves to others especially in this age where everyone shares everything. It's amazing though how false those images we put up on Facebook and the like can be. I realized this when my mother ran into an old friend of mine who still lives in the town where we grew up. She was telling my mom how exciting my life looked and that I am always travelling. Granted I do travel a lot, but in between is a lot of misery and drudgery trying to scrape together the cash to go. Even the most perfect looking people on the outside have issues. You are doing great, raising a happy, healthy son. Do not jump into something that you cannot afford just to keep up with your friends.

Unknown said...

We were fortunate enough to be gifted our down payment. I swear, we would have been renting into our 50's! Be gentle on yourself. You are doing an amazing job!