My partner and I are in the process of buying a house. It has been hectic and stressful and exciting, particularly when I think about how impossible it should have been. I’m 36 years old and I stopped living paycheck-to-paycheck just last year. I haven’t had a real savings account ever and my Roth IRA has less than one years worth of investment in it. I haven’t lived in one city for more than 2 years since I was 18 and I’ve had 5 jobs in the last 8 years. Only one year of my entire life have I made more than $30,000.
Yet, here I am about to buy a house and putting 20% down (well, technically 10% down because my partner is covering 10% but I actually could put 20% myself if needed).
So, how am I stable despite seemingly actively working against any sort of structure or stability or traditional path?
Because I pursued what was right for me. Though, the pursuit has been indirect. More often than not I was running away from what I knew didn’t work for me instead of running towards something I knew would work. I found a life perfect(ish) for me by process of elimination. I didn’t try to make the traditional path work for me, I didn’t try to change myself, instead, I went on a different path.
By all accounts, I should have monogamously married the first adult love of my life, secured a steady job in finance or economics or something, had a couple of kids, and slowly put money into savings accounts, 401ks, and college funds. But I didn’t want that… monogamy, steady work in the same place, children, low-risk investments… that life doesn’t appeal to me.
Instead, I decided to be true to myself and discover what life I could have. And by taking that risk, by quitting jobs and ending relationships and moving around the country and deciding to live a life of adventure before retirement, I ended up in a great place.
The purchasing of this house isn’t the end of my pursuit of an artistic, rebel, true-to-me life. The odds are pretty good that we will be moving out of this house in the next 3-5 years and trying out a new city or country. But it is very symbolic, it shows that I could have all the rewards of tradition if I wanted them. That trying something new isn’t necessarily a path into the wilderness or uncharted territories. New paths cross old paths often and we can switch how we live our lives at almost any point.
Nothing is guaranteed, maybe this risk will turn out to be nothing like I expected (much like moving to LA was), but it will be an adventure and learning experience. And if/when I die I won’t regret it.
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