autotelic, autistic, assonance-hole©.

Crossing the bridges we come to (an update)

This is the problem with careful planning: When something doesn’t go to plan, things can deteriorate very, very quickly. So it has been with us. The intention was to live in this house for at least 3-5 years and take advantage of the ridiculous amount of appreciation we would see (e.g., in this first year, appreciation of almost $85k; as with our Findley house, I planned for a short stint as the means to get to ‘the next level’).  

The intention was that here, at end of year 1, we would HELOC all unsecured debt and spend the remainder of the time paying down/off the HELOC while waiting out the appreciation clock. 

From there, do another round of analysis for quality of life, expenses, and probability of appreciation and then, do it again (or not, depending upon how content we are over time with this house or any other… that’s the nice part, you have flexibility; well, when it works). 

I knew we were in for a rough ride when I lost my freelance role with Aurea in April. The cycle of certification/education papering for professionals has turned back toward “required” and that always means a stroll through the desert for me, the perpetually self-taught.  

(You may recall my run at a master’s degree was derailed in my associate’s 2nd year (54 of 60 credits) when it was discovered that my dyscalculia wasn’t going to be considered at a level that would allow me to complete the degree. You may also recall that this means that, for lack of 4 credits in math that I’ll simply never be able to do, I’m effectively halted in my pursuit for Masters or better education – all the more annoying in that I carried a 4.0 GPA until I ran head first into my own limitations mathematically. 

So! Perhaps certifications are the way to go! Let’s see; I lost my qualification for the CBAP when WoTC/Hasbro refused to vouch my hours, effectively running out the clock with the IIBA to certify the 8 years prior expertise as well as the 2 years with WoTC/Hasbro. That wouldn’t annoy me so much if I didn’t know for a fact that they vouched several colleagues during this same period AND effectively paid for the MBA of the marketing fellow who now sits in the CTO role with that company.  

But you know, I can’t afford to be more than annoyed with it; it’s just another proof that intelligence and ability are less important to the world than image and political competency. Don’t get me wrong, the fellow who is now CTO is a great guy, but that company did me very, very wrong and I won’t forget it.) 

Almost 300 resumes submitted since April (that’s 42 a month, which is not shabby for white collar, IC or better role) and, to a one, either instant rejection or worse, the old ‘moving ahead with better qualified candidates’.  

So, yeah, the notion that I’m going to be the primary anything anymore seems more than a little laughable. And I accept it for what it is. We must still live and this means we must severely scale back. But, in the usual, banal fashion, one missed mark results in a cascading chain of crisis… we are no different than the world:  

  • HELOC rejection for debt to income ratio 
  • Instant crisis due to my lack of income 
  • No possibility of unemployment, since I was working as a freelancer 
  • J’s income is insufficient to maintain monthly expenses  

And voila! Just like this, we’re facing chapter 13. We had the consultation with the attorney and were committed (albeit angrily) when J’s sister, M, grants us a stay of execution with an early holiday gift of cash.  

This was enough to grant the time to find and lock in an apartment, get the house on market, and hopefully, sell it quickly enough to pull out of things with a small profit (to serve as nest egg for the future).  

So, we’re selling the house. It’s strange to me that I feel the need to clarity that we’re not losing the house; we’re making a tactical decision to downsize so we can pay off all debt and be in a place where sustenance is simplified and, perhaps most important for me at present, I am not the primary income (or frankly, no longer required to work).  

Of course, the house may not sell quickly (if at all, though admittedly, this is unlikely in this seller’s market). And if it doesn’t, well, we’ll be staring Chapter 13 in the face again… but I’ll cross that burning bridge if/when I get to it. 

In the meanwhile, my life rolls on as usual – my daughter has estranged herself and her children from me, my son has never wanted to know me longer than to unload his rage on me, my mother is gone, my father may as well be, and my world has largely shrunk to myself, J, and my distant friend, C, down in Louisiana/Texas area.  

I think I have finally decided to just live my own life. I don’t think I can wait any more for those I have loved so long at distance to decide I’m worth loving, too. I know I’m tired of feeling the weight of all the silence and distance. Frankly, I’m a little angry with myself that I have put so much of my life on hold to wait. But softly, gently, kindly, me to myself – I cared. I loved. I felt and thought it was a worthy waiting.  

It was never worthy to them and it was never helpful for me to give my worthiness away to people who didn’t see it as such. 

Live and learn, yes? As do we all.  

Life itself is good. We are not without. Things could be so much worse. Many suffer in ways I cannot imagine. But yes, now and again, I need my seat on the continuum of ‘life is being really sucky to me right now’ and I’m just not going to feel sorry or bad that I need that.  

We move on the 20th. In the doing, I will be severing the last threads to my daughter and her new family. The last year has been spent in quiet insistence; you have known where I live. You have been welcomed to visit at any time. You have chosen to remain away. You have chosen to persist in this ‘by email, by phone, by social media, but never in person’ stance.  

I am not some random, superficial, social media ‘friend’. I am your mother. Since you cannot find the way to treat me like your mother, I think I’d prefer not to have your ‘treatment’ at all because, frankly, I’m tired of people demanding my attendance and behavior and I’m especially tired of being reminded just how little I matter to the people who have mattered most to me. 

Dare I say that I feel the beginning of what may be relief? I do dare. And I do. I am ready to live for myself and my husband in a way I have never quite allowed – putting US first. I am really, really looking forward to it.